Jordan Lyles (1-1, 8.36) vs Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.28)
These are your LOLstros. For much of the last two decades, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been synonymous with baseball incompetence. They've shown strong signs of starting to turn that around in the last two years, and they're looking even stronger so far this year. The Astros, meanwhile... well, you know. In stark contrast to Wednesday's leaping, crashing, game-ending catch by Brandon Barnes, Houston gift-wrapped a victory for the Pirates tonight, letting in the winning run on a walk-off outfield collision. Astros fall 5-4 in humiliating fashion, and they're now 11-31 as they start the season's second quarter.
On the Mound:
*Coming back off an ugly start against Texas, Jordan Lyles did pretty okay today. He allowed a pair of runs, but pitched into the 6th, finishing with a 5 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 4 K line.
*Travis Blackley (0.2 IP), Paul Clemens (1 IP), and Wesley Wright (0.1 IP) got the Astros through the 7th with a 4-2 lead still intact, but Wright allowed a leadoff single in the 8th.
*Hector Ambriz then got charged with a blown save, for allowing a gargantuan 2-run homer to Pedro Alvarez that ended up in the Allegheny River.
*Edgar Gonzalez should not be the losing pitcher tonight. At least not for what he did in the 9th. He gave up two hits, and made a fielding error of his own that loaded the bases. But he also got two outs, and induced a pop-up that should have ended the inning. Oh, LOLstros.
At the Plate:
*Houston collected 7 hits tonight, though no more than one apiece to any Astros hitter. Matt Dominguez had the single biggest swing, knocking his third HR of the season to go 1 for 4 with a RBI and 2 K.
*Robbie Grossman got the chance tonight to play against the team that traded him away, and he scored on them twice, going 1 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a K.
*Jake Elmore had a RBI single and finished 1 for 3, before featuring in the game-ending fiasco... more on that in a minute.
*Trevor Crowe had a hit and a walk in two PA.
*Marwin Gonzalez singled and scored a run to go 1 for 4.
*Jason Castro was 0 for 2 with a walk, but he earned a RBI on a sac fly.
*Chris Carter (1 for 3, BB, K) and Carlos Pena (1 for 3, BB) also had hits for Houston.
The Astros carried a 4-2 lead into the 8th, and a 4-4 tie into the 9th, when Edgar Gonzalez came in to pitch. He sandwiched a groundout between a pair of singles for out #1, then made a fielding error on Brandon Inge that loaded the bases. After fanning Neil Walker for out #2, Russell Martin stepped to the plate and worked a 3-2 count. Gonzalez' next pitch was a changeup that Martin popped up into short right field, which should have been an easy play for out #3. But as Jake Elmore went out to catch it, Jimmy Paredes came in, and the pair collided when both tried to catch the ball. Travis Snider had walked home while the ball was in the air, so all he had to do was step on home plate when the ball hit the grass, and the Pirates had themselves a 5-4 win.
Man of the Match:
Matt Dominguez. All three of his home runs this season have come in the last week.
Goat of the Game:
The LOLstros defense. Jimmy Paredes was charged with the game-losing error, but Edgar Gonzalez's own error also contributed, and Chris Carter had an earlier error that also cost Houston a run.