Kip Wells (0-0, 0.00) vs Jordan Lyles (1-4, 5.04)
Jordan Lyles pitched his way out of another plane ticket to OKC (at least for now), and the Astros spoiled Houston native Kip Wells' return to the big leagues. Astros win, 5-3, and have won three of their last four to move to 31-43 on the season.
*Excepting Monday's game, Lyles continued the recent string of great starts by Houston pitchers, with this line: 6.1 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 4 BB / 4 K. The only run he surrendered was an umpire-reviewed solo shot by Will Venable to lead off the 3rd, and the outing shaved almost half a run off of Lyles' 2012 ERA (4.59). Fernando Abad was perfect for 1.2 innings in relief of Lyles, then Brett Myers eventually nailed down his 17th save after he and David Carpenter made things a little too interesting in the 9th.
*Jed Lowrie and J.D. Martinez continued the Astros' recent power surge, giving Houston their fourth multi-homer game in a row and 10 homers in the last four games total.
*Lowrie also added a single to kick off Houston's four-run 5th, going 2-4 to raise his average back up to .270 for the first time since June 18.
*Every other Astros starting position player had either a hit or a walk, or both, except for Brian Bixler, who went 0 for 4 with 2 K from the leadoff spot in Altuve's absence.
*Martinez' 2-run dinger in the 5th extended his team-leading RBI total to 45, tied for 14th in the NL but just two behind Joey Votto and four others in a tie for 6th. J.D. is also now the second Astro to reach double digits in HR in 2012, trailing Lowrie's 14 HR for the team lead.
The game was tied 1-1 going to the bottom of the 5th, when the Astros paired three hits with a throwing error and a wild pitch by Wells to put up a four-spot and, it would turn out, put the game away.
Man of the Match:
Jordan Lyles. Since he was "permanently" called up on June 3, he's posted a 3.72 ERA in five starts, as opposed to 5.73 in four spot starts while bouncing between Houston and Oklahoma City in April and May.
Goat of the Game:
Almost the Carpenter/Myers duo in the 9th, but we'll go with Brian Bixler. He's overall done well for himself since getting the call from OKC, but he was the only Astro starter to contribute nothing offensively on this night. Altuve, get well soon!