Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.86) vs Bud Norris (5-6, 3.47)
One bad pitch. One bad pitch by Bud Norris was all it took to make the difference between Houston's fourth straight one-run win, and a streak-snapping, sweep-stopping defeat. Five solid innings by Bud were wiped out by a shaky 6th that went one pitch too long, and with it went the Astros' four-game winning streak. White Sox take the series finale 4-2, and Houston drops to 26-45 on the season.
On the Mound:
*Bud was indeed outstanding through the first five innings, allowing only three hits and no runs, but all of that went wrong in the 6th. 4 ER on 5 H in that frame made Bud a loser, with this line: 6 IP / 8 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 0 BB / 4 K.
*Josh Fields made a rare appearance (his first since June 7), and delivered 2 IP of 1 H, 0 R ball.
*Wade LeBlanc got his second outing as an Astro and turned in a perfect 9th.
At the Plate:
*The Astros once more added one to the previous night's hit total (7 H Sunday, 8 H today), and it would have once again been just enough, but for Bud's bad 6th.
*7 of Houston's 8 hits tonight went to the first three hitters in the Astros' order. Brandon Barnes had the most of those, leading off and going 3 for 5 with 2 SB, a K, and a run scored.
*Jason Castro didn't homer again, but he narrowly missed it twice, instead delivering a pair of RBI doubles to go 2 for 4 with a K.
*Jose Altuve wouldn't be outdone, going 2 for 5 with a SB, a R, and 2 K.
*Ronny Cedeno was the only other Astro with a hit, going 1 for 4 with a SB and 2 K.
All was going swimmingly for Studly Cuddly Budly until Alejandro De Aza led off the 6th with a single, but even then two straight line outs had the inning almost over and Houston's 2-0 lead intact. Back-to-back-to-back singles followed, driving in De Aza and loading the bases for Dayan Viciedo. Bud worked Viciedo to a 2-2 count, but instead of delivering a third strike to escape the inning, he hung a slider up in the zone, which Vicideo knocked over a diving Brandon Barnes on Tal's Hill for a bases-clearing triple.
Man of the Match:
Jason Castro. Campaigning hard for that Astros All-Star spot.
Goat of the Game:
Bud Norris. He didn't pitch terribly, but with Houston's weak offense of late, a hanging slider with the bases loaded was a mistake they couldn't afford.