Bud Norris (5-8, 5.05) vs Marco Estrada (0-4, 4.52)
Don't call it a comeback... but it almost was. Bud Norris was brilliant early on, the bullpen was predictably awful, but this time, Houston kept fighting back. The comeback fell short by the slimmest of margins, as J.D. Martinez was called out at first by a fraction of a second to end the game, on a play that would have scored the tying run. But replays showed the call was correct, and Houston loses 8-7, falling to 35-69 in 2012.
*Bud Norris was nigh unhittable for the first six innings, allowing only a pair of infield singles up to that point. A walk-homer-double combo chased him from the game in the 7th, then Francisco Cordero came on and allowed the inherited runner to score, so Bud finished with this line: 6 IP / 4 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 3 BB / 3 K. Cordero allowed two runs of his own in an inning of work, and Xavier Cedeno allowed three more on a three-run homer to Cody Ransom that ended up as the winning blow... barely.
*Give the kids credit - they didn't play today like a team that has only won three games all month. When they got knocked down, they got right back up again.
*Steve Pearce led the way, going 2 for 3 with a double, 3 RBI, and 2 sac flies. He also had a spectacular running catch in right field on Corey Hart in the 6th.
*Jose Altuve was a multi-hit man again, going 2 for 3 with a walk, a RBI, a stolen base, and 3 runs scored.
*Scott Moore also had a multi-hit performance, going 2 for 4 with a mammoth solo blast to right field in the 7th. It was his 5th HR of the season, in 89 AB.
*Brian Bogusevic (single) and Justin Maxwell (double) both had RBI pinch-hits in the 9th.
*Brett Wallace went 0 for 4 with a HBP in his return to the big leagues.
After Cody Ransom's three-run blast made it 8-4 in the 8th, it looked like the Astros were done, but they had one last push left in them. The 9th went like this: Corporan pop out, Schafer walk, Schafer to 2nd on fielder's indifference, RBI single Bogusevic. Pitching change, Altuve walk, RBI double Maxwell. Pitching change, RBI sac fly Pearce, Wallace HBP. J.D. Martinez came up then with the tying run on 3rd and the go-ahead run on 1st; he grounded to short and only just got thrown out at first to end the game.
Man of the Match:
Steve Pearce. Great game all-around by Houston's newest right fielder tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Co-goat award goes to Francisco Cordero and Xavier Cedeno. A combined 2 IP / 6 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 1 BB / 1 K line cost the Astros a win in a game they controlled most of the way.