James Shields (2-4, 2.45) vs Jordan Lyles (1-1, 6.63)
Holy crap, it's another Astros series win. J.D. Martinez went deep in the 1st, Jordan Lyles was all kinds of great for six innings, and the bullpen faced the minimum over the final three. It all added up to a 3-1 Houston victory, for their fourth series win of the season. The win makes this the Astros' most successful seven-game stretch of the season (4-3), and the club heads into tomorrow's offday at 14-33 overall.
On the Mound:
*Whatever bad juju Jordan Lyles suffered from in Spring Training, he seems to have buried in the back yard now. Excepting that ugly Texas start, he's now got a 3.00 ERA in his other four, including tonight's 6 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 3 K line.
*Travis Blackley and Hector Ambriz each pitched a scoreless inning, allowing only a lone walk (by Blackley) between them, and that erased on a pickoff.
*Not to jinx it, but Jose Veras has now had three straight perfect outings, notching another 1-2-3 9th tonight for his 8th save.
At the Plate:
*J.D. Martinez put the Astros up early and gave them all they would need, jacking a two-run HR in the 1st and finishing 2 for 4.
*Jason Castro was also big with the bat, going 3 for 4 with a RBI double and a run scored.
*Jose Altuve was held hitless for the fourth straight game - twice his previous longest streak this season - but he did walk, steal a base, and score a run.
*Carlos Pena had a double and went 1 for 3 with a K.
*Robbie Grossman (1 for 4, K) and Chris Carter (1 for 4, 3 K) also had hits for Houston.
After the first two Astros made outs in the 1st, Jason Castro singled, then J.D. Martinez homered to right. That gave Houston an early lead that, for once, they would never surrender.
Man of the Match:
Jordan Lyles. Kid is still only 22 years old, and showing signs of putting it together.
Goat of the Game:
No goat, as we get to bask in not losing again until at least Friday.