Jordan Lyles (2-4, 4.59) vs James McDonald (7-3, 2.44)
Ugly, ugly, ugly. The Pirates looked nothing like the second-worst hitting team in the National League as they sent Jordan Lyles to an early shower, and the Astros got killed again on the road, 11-2. Houston lost their fifth straight to fall to 32-48 on the season.
*Lyles was great through the first three innings, but then things began to unravel quickly. He coughed up four in the 4th, then three more to start the 5th, to end his night with a 4 IP / 9 H / 7 R / 7 ER / 0 BB / 6 K line, including back-to-back homers by Garrett Jones and Neil Walker. Rhiner Cruz, Fernando Abad, and Fernando Rodriguez didn't fare any better, combining for a 3 IP / 8 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 1 BB / 2 K line. Only David Carpenter escaped unscathed for Houston, tossing a scoreless 7th.
*Jose Altuve led off the game with a walk and scored the run that gave Houston a 1-0 lead until the fateful 4th, but he'd finish the night 0 for 4 after that.
*J.D. Martinez drove in that Altuve run and went 2 for 4 with a double on the night. He's now hitting .308 / .357 / .558 since June 16.
*Scott Moore, starting in place of an injured Chris Johnson, delivered Houston's other run on a 6th inning HR off McDonald. He was 1 for 4.
*Jason Castro and Carlos "Immovable Object" Lee had Houston's other hits. Castro is hitting .297 since May 21.
*Jed Lowrie took another 0 for 4 with 2 K, dropping his average to .253, its lowest point since April 25.
*As long as we're looking at arbitrary endpoints, Jordan Schafer was 0 for 3 and is hitting .171 since May 31.
Jordan Lyles had held the Pirates to one hit and no runs through three innings, but then five straight hits to start the 4th produced four runs, dooming him and the Astros to defeat.
Man of the Match:
J.D. Martinez. It's nice to see him swinging well with more consistency of late.
Goat of the Game:
Lyles. Right now, he's in line to start Houston's final game before the All-Star Break, and he may need to redeem himself in that game if he's to avoid being the odd man out when the six-man rotation presumably drops back to five.