Joe Blanton (0-5, 5.97) vs Bud Norris (3-3, 3.89)
Y'know, these Astros look pretty bad against likely playoff teams such as Texas, Oakland, Boston, and Detroit. But against more pedestrian competition, they're holding their own better than most would like to give them credit for. The $24 Million Davids slew the $142 Million Goliaths for the second night in a row, and for the third time in five games this season, tonight by a 3-1 margin. Houston improves to 10-24 on the season, and falls half a game behind Miami in the race for the 2014 #1 pick.
On the Mound:
*While last night's victory was helped along by a trio of Angels errors, tonight it was pure BudChuck dominance. Studly Cuddly Budly fell shy in his attempt for his first career complete game, but he still stomped all over the Angels with a 8 IP / 9 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 2 K line.
*Jose Veras came in after back-to-back singles to start the 9th chased Bud, and Veras made it back-to-back saves by fanning Mark Trumbo, hitting Josh Hamilton, then getting Howie Kendrick to ground into a game-ending double play.
At the Plate:
*cHRis Carter! Swinging the big stick again. He homered for the second straight night, and for the 8th time this season, on a titanic solo blast off the eyesore signs in LF in the 5th. He finished 1 for 3.
*Jimmy Paredes only hits doubles. He went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, a RBI, and a K tonight, giving him all doubles for his three hits so far this season.
*Marwin Gonzalez had a RBI double and went 2 for 3 with a run scored.
*Matt Dominguez also went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.
*Jose Altuve did what he does, going 1 for 4 with a K.
*Jason Castro went 1 for 3 with a BB.
*And Robbie Grossman went 0 for 4 with a K to end his hitting streak at 8.
With the game still scoreless in the 3rd, Chris Carter started Houston's half with a groundout. But back-to-back doubles by Matty D and Marwin got the Astros on the board, then a Jimmy Paredes double one out later drove home Gonzalez with what would be the winning run.
Man of the Match:
Bud Norris! His 8 innings were easily the longest outing by any Astros starter this season, and he only needed 84 pitches to do it.
Goat of the Game:
J.D. Martinez. 0 for 3 with 2 K as tonight's DH.