Myers Roughed Up Against Reds, Astros Lose 10-4

SB Nation Houston's coverage of the Astros-Reds series from May 2nd-May 4th, 2011

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12 Total Updates since May 2, 2011
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Jason Michaels Will Begin Rehab Assignment Saturday

Astros outfielder Jason Michaels will begin a rehab assignment with the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Saturday as he begins his comeback from a subluxation in his left shoulder. Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Michaels took batting practice Thursday afternoon and declared himself ready to go:

“The more at-bats I get, the better,” he said. “But it felt good today.”

Most of Michaels at-bats have gone to Jason Bourgeois, who has been a revelation for the Astros in his limited time so far, hitting .391 with 11 stolen bases in just 49 plate-appearances. Even when Michaels does get back, he may find his playing time dip due to just how impressive Bourgeois has been for Houston.

Outfielder Brian Bogusevic will likely be the odd man out whenever Michaels is ready to return to the team. There is still no timetable for Michaels’ return, but the club took it easy on Clint Barmes when he was working his way back from injury, so it might be a week or so before Michaels is activated.

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Brandon Lyon To DL With Biceps Tendinitis And Partial Rotator Cuff Tear

Well, turns out Brandon Lyon had a perfectly legitimate excuse for his struggles of late. Astros doctors diagnosed Lyon with biceps tendinitis and a partial rotator cuff tear. He’ll be placed on the DL, and per Alyson Footer, the injury will be treated non-surgically.

Jose Valdez will be recalled from Oklahoma City to take Lyon’s place on the roster. Lyon had blown four saves and leaves the roster with a 7.15 ERA. Valdez has appeared in five games this season for the Astros, and has a 9.00 ERA with seven strikeouts, seven hits, and three walks allowed in five innings so far.

The two favorites for saves will be Wilton Lopez and Mark Melancon. With Lopez still recovering from an injury of his own, look for Melancon to get the first look at saves in the Houston bullpen. At least initially. No timetable was given for Lyon’s return, but the words “rotator cuff tear” are not very encouraging. Proceed accordingly to your fantasy waiver wire if you need saves.

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Reds Bats Tee Off On Figueroa And Myers In 10-4 Loss For Astros

The Houston Astros were rocked by Cincinnati 10-4 in the rubber game of their three game series to fall to 12-19 on the season. The Astros pulled within 6-4 after Aroldis Chapman got wild in the seventh, walking two and giving up a hit without recording an out. Bill Bray shut the door for the Reds, getting Brett Wallace out with runners on to end the threat.

Nelson Figueroa, recently removed from the starting rotation, came on and immediately threw a couple of tires onto the fire. Figueroa allowed a homer to Jay Bruce to lead off the inning, Jonny Gomes nearly took him out to deep center next, but Michael Bourn was able to catch the ball on the track. Figueroa then gave up three straight hits, a sac fly, and another single to put the score at an out-of-reach 10-4.

Sam LeCure closed the Astros out in the ninth. Homer Bailey got the win, and Brett Myers took the loss. The Astros will travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game set to end their road trip.

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Astros Send Myers To Mound In Rubber Game With Reds

(Sports Network) – Right-hander Homer Bailey comes off the disabled list for his first start of 2011 today when the Cincinnati Reds host the Houston Astros in the third and final game of a series between National League Central rivals at Great American Ball Park.

Bailey, who won eight times in 20 starts for the Reds last season, went on the 15-day disabled list late in spring training with impingement in his right shoulder.

He made rehab starts at Triple-A Louisville on April 17, 24 and 30 and was scheduled to make his final rehab start today, but will start for the Reds off the rescheduled rainout from Monday.

A native Texan, Bailey reached the majors in 2007 after his first-round selection (seventh overall) three years earlier. He was 4-2 in nine starts in his first stint and 0-6 in eight starts a year later before rebounding for an 8-5 mark in 2009 and a 4-3 slate in 2010.

He got a no-decision against the Astros in his lone career matchup, allowing three hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts.

Houston goes with durable righty Brett Myers, who’s lasted six innings or more in all but one of 39 starts with the Astros. Myers was 14-8 with a 3.14 earned run average in his first season with Houston – striking out 180 batters in a career-high 223 2/3 innings.

He faced Cincinnati in his second start of 2011 and pitched 6 2/3 innings of six-hit ball en route to a no-decision in a game the Astros ultimately win, 3-2.

In 12 lifetime meetings with the Reds, including 10 starts, he is 3-3 with a hold and a 4.02 ERA across 65 innings.

The Reds pulled even in the series in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, as Jay Bruce’s run-scoring double in the ninth capped a three-run inning, giving them a 3-2 win.

Houston closer Brandon Lyon (3-2) walked Drew Stubbs on four pitches leading off, then a wild pitch moved him to second and Chris Heisey singled to put runners on the corners for Joey Votto, whose single plated a run and left men on first and second.

Brandon Phillips tied the game with a base hit to right before Bruce grounded a double just inside the first base bag, scoring Votto with the winning run.

Cincinnati, which entered Wednesday’s game at 14-15, was 14-15 after 29 games last season before winning nine of the next 10 on the way to its first division title since 1995.

Travis Wood threw six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks. The lefty also struck out seven. Francisco Cordero (2-0) picked up the win for throwing a scoreless top of the ninth.

Jason Bourgeois and Hunter Pence each had an RBI single for Houston, which had a three-game winning streak halted.

Aneury Rodriguez, making his first career big-league start, allowed only one hit – a one-out triple to Valaika in the third – and one walk, while striking out three.

The right-hander previously made nine relief appearances this season with a 6.75 earned run average.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Astros earlier in the season.

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Brandon Lyon Heads Back To Houston To See Doctors About Shoulder Weakness

Perhaps Brandon Lyon’s early struggles were a case of pitching through an injury, or perhaps the organization is trying to protect his image by conveying that message. Either way, Lyon will head back to Houston to see Dr. David Lintner about the vague term shoulder weakness.

Zachary Levine points out that Lyon’s average fastball has dropped from 91.6 miles per hour to 90.2 this year. While that doesn’t seem like a huge change at first glance, Lyon wasn’t overpowering to begin with. Any loss of velocity would be a huge deal for the Astros and Lyon. If it’s permanent, they may have to ride out the rest of his contract with a mediocre middle reliever stuck on the roster.

With Lyon unavailable, temporary closer duties will fall to Mark Melancon, who has been very good to this point in the season. A 1.76 ERA and a 12/6 K:BB ratio are his statistical highlights thus far this year..

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Astros WIn Streak Over At Three As Lyon Coughs Up Another Lead

Aneury Rodriguez was everything the Astros could have hoped for, going five innings and allowing just one hit. Houston jumped ahead of the Reds 2-0 with a pair of RBI singles from Jason Bourgeois and Hunter Pence. But after using four relievers to get three scoreless innings, Brad Mills again turned to Brandon Lyon only to watch the embattled reliever go down in flames.

Lyon surrendered a leadoff walk to Drew Stubbs, then gave up four straight hits to end the game. Jay Bruce’s walkoff double ended the game and Lyon left the mound a loser for the second time this season. The reliever has blown four saves already this year and boosted his ERA to 7.15 with this latest meltdown.

The Astros moved to 12-18 on the year, Cincinnati moved within two games of the first-place Cardinals. Left fielder Carlos Lee did not play and probably won’t play tomorrow either. The Astros will close out the series tomorrow at 11:35 A.M. CT. Brett Myers will square off against Homer Bailey in the rubber game.

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Aneury Rodriguez Makes First Start Of Big League Career Against Reds

(Sports Network) — Dominican right-hander Aneury Rodriguez makes the first start of his big-league career today when the Houston Astros visit Great American Ball Park to continue a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.

Rodriguez, a rookie, has appeared in relief nine times through the season’s initial month for the Astros, logging an overall eight innings while allowing nine hits and six earned runs.

He tossed one inning against the Reds on April 5 in Cincinnati and allowed two hits and a run in a game Houston lost, 8-2.

These teams began the series Tuesday night after Monday’s scheduled opener was rained out. Jason Bourgeois went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and knocked in two as the Astros earned a 10-4 decision. Clint Barmes and Humberto Quintero each drove in a pair for Houston, which has won three in a row.

J.A. Happ (2-4) went 6 1/3 innings, yielding four runs on eight hits. The lefty struck out five and walked one in snapping a three-game slide. Happ also added an RBI single and scored a run.

Drew Stubbs had a two-run double for the Reds, who have dropped four of six.

Struggling with his command, Reds starter Mike Leake (3-1) was roughed up for seven runs on seven hits in only 3 2/3 innings to take the loss. The righty struck out five and walked one.

The Reds will rely on lefty Travis Wood, who’ll again seek his first win since he defeated Milwaukee in his season debut on April 2.

The 24-year-old went seven innings and allowed four hits and a run in that 4-2 triumph, but has since gone 0-3 in five starts while his earned run average swelled from 1.29 to 6.82.

He lasted just 3 1/3 innings in an April 29 outing against Florida and was raked for eight hits and seven runs.

He’s 0-1 in two starts against the Astros.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Astros earlier in the season.

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Carlos Lee Likely To Be Out 'Several' More Days With Rib Injuries

The Houston Astros will likely be without the services of “outfielder” Carlos Lee for several more days despite his arrival in Cincinnati last night. The Houston Chronicle’s Zachary Levine reports that Lee is still in a considerable amount of pain and will likely miss a few more games. The Astros will not, however, place Lee on the disabled list, so he shouldn’t be gone for too long.

“The best thing that happened was that there was nothing broken,” Lee said. “I’ve had some pain before, but that’s way up there on the scale. It felt like somebody was pushing everything from the inside out. It was a sharp pain.”

Jason Bourgeois started for Lee last night and collected three hits and two RBI’s. Brian Bogusevic may also see some time in left field as Lee tries to work his way back into the lineup.

The Astros will play two day games in a row to accomodate Monday’s rainout. Today they’ll start against the Reds at 11:30 AM CT.

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Big Games from Bourgeois, Wallace Lead 'Stros

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Jason Bourgeois went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and knocked in two, as the Houston Astros earned an easy 10-4 decision over Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park.

Clint Barmes and Humberto Quintero each drove in a pair for Houston, which has won three in a row. Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace had a solo homer apiece for the victors.

J.A. Happ (2-4) went 6 1/3 innings, yielding four runs on eight hits. The lefty struck out five and walked one in snapping a three-game slide. Happ also added an RBI single and scored a run.

The teams were scheduled to get their series under way Monday night, but the game was postponed by rain. It will be made up at the tail end of the series on Thursday, which had been a scheduled day off for both sides.

Drew Stubbs had a two-run double for the Reds, who have dropped four of six.

Mike Leake (3-1) was roughed up for seven runs on seven hits in only 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one.

Brandon Phillips’ sacrifice fly to deep center in the first got the Reds on the board, but Johnson belted a solo homer to straight-away center in the second to tie things.

Houston then put up a six-spot in the fourth to take control. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out before Barmes brought in a pair with a double to center. Quintero chased in another with a ground out and Happ’s RBI single made it a 5-1 game.

Leake was replaced by Jordan Smith after a Michael Bourn single, and Bourgeois greeted him with a two-run double to left.

Wallace hit a solo shot to left-center leading off the fifth and Quintero’s sac fly later in the inning put the Astros ahead 9-1.

Stubbs answered with a two-run double in the home fifth and Edgar Renteria’s RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh got the Reds to within 9-4.

Johnson tripled with one out in the ninth and trotted home on Bill Hall’s deep sac fly to right.

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Astros, Reds Hope To Avoid Second Straight Rainout

(Sports Network) – Second-year right-hander Mike Leake goes for a second straight win over the Houston Astros tonight when the Cincinnati Reds host them to open a weather-altered three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The teams were scheduled to get their series under way Monday night, but the game was postponed by rain. It will be made up at the tail end of the series on Thursday, which had been a scheduled day off for both teams.

The San Diego native made his initial start of 2011 against the Astros on April 5 in Cincinnati and emerged with a win, allowing three hits and two runs over six innings of an 8-2 triumph.

He’s largely made news for off-the-field issues since, following an April 18 arrest for shoplifting six shirts valued at a total of $59.88 from a Macy’s store in Cincinnati.

He pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge, and, if he completes counseling and 30 hours of community service, the case will be dropped, and the conviction expunged from his record.

In a press conference Friday, Leake said he had purchased similar shirts two weeks earlier, then took them back to the store to exchange them. But instead of dealing with a clerk, he said he attempted to leave the store with the replacements.

The 23-year-old has won all three of his decisions on the season and has gone seven innings in two outings since the incident, defeating Arizona on April 21 and getting a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee on April 26.

He’s 2-1 in four career starts against Houston with a 2.49 earned run average in 25 1/3 innings.

For the Astros, lefty J.A. Happ tries against to snap out of early season difficulties.

The 28-year-old was 1-1 after his second start of the season – a 7-1 defeat of Florida on April 10 – but has dropped three straight since against San Diego, the New York Mets and St. Louis.

In those games, he’s pitched 16 2/3 innings while allowing 18 hits and 12 runs.

Happ opened his season against Leake and the Reds and allowed seven runs in seven hits in four innings on the short end of the 8-2 verdict.

On Sunday in Cincinnati, Emilio Bonifacio hit a three-run homer and Hanley Ramirez added a two-run shot, as the Florida Marlins clubbed a season-high five homers in taking a 9-5 decision over Cincinnati in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Jay Bruce slugged a two-run homer and Brandon Phillips added a solo shot for the Reds, who have dropped three of five and haven’t won consecutive games since April 11-12 at San Diego.

Bronson Arroyo (3-3) was touched for seven hits and five runs with a pair of walks and fanned three over seven frames.

In Houston, Carlos Lee belted a three-run homer in support of starting pitcher Bud Norris, but wound up leaving Sunday’s 5-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers following a violent collision with teammate Angel Sanchez in the seventh inning.

Lee collided with Sanchez in shallow left field while pursuing a ball hit by Milwaukee’s Mark Kotsay. It appeared the Astros shortstop kneed Lee in the ribs. Lee remained down for several minutes before being removed from the field on a cart. He was then taken to a local hospital to have tests performed on his left ribcage.

Norris (2-1) limited the Brewers to three hits and three walks in 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander also recorded 11 strikeouts, three shy of his career high.

Jason Bourgeois collected two hits and scored a run for Houston, which took two straight after dropping Friday’s series opener.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Astros earlier in the season.

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Astros And Reds Rained Out, Game Rescheduled For Thursday

Inclement weather does happen from time-to-time, and seeing as how the Astros and Reds had a mutual off day on Thursday, the teams agreed to reschedule tonight’s game for that date rather than chance it. The game will be played at 11:35 AM CT on Thursday.

Per The Weather Channel, the chances of rain for tomorrow are also set at 100%, which could put a big dent in the plans to get the whole series in this week. The Reds and Astros could schedule a double header, or they could try to find another mutual off day if they had to cancel Tuesday’s game as well.

Per the Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine, the rotation will remain the same. The Astros could have skipped Aneury Rodriguez to give him more time to build his arm strength up, but decided against it. Rodriguez took over the fifth starter’s spot from Nelson Figueroa after Figueroa looked wretched in five of his first six starts of the season.

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Astros Travel To Cincinnati To Take Another Shot At Reds

(Sports Network) - Second-year right-hander Mike Leake goes for a second straight win over the Houston Astros tonight when the Cincinnati Reds host them to open a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The San Diego native made his initial start of 2011 against the Astros on April 5 in Cincinnati and emerged with a win, allowing three hits and two runs over six innings of an 8-2 triumph.

He's largely made news for off-the-field issues since, following an April 18 arrest for shoplifting six shirts valued at a total of $59.88 from a Macy's store in Cincinnati.

He pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge, and, if he completes counseling and 30 hours of community service, the case will be dropped, and the conviction expunged from his record.

In a press conference Friday, Leake said he had purchased similar shirts two weeks earlier, then took them back to the store to exchange them. But instead of dealing with a clerk, he said he attempted to leave the store with the replacements.

The 23-year-old has won all three of his decisions on the season and has gone seven innings in two outings since the incident, defeating Arizona on April 21 and getting a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee on April 26.

He's 2-1 in four career starts against Houston with a 2.49 earned run average in 25 1/3 innings.

For the Astros, lefty J.A. Happ tries against to snap out of early season difficulties.

The 28-year-old was 1-1 after his second start of the season - a 7-1 defeat of Florida on April 10 - but has dropped three straight since against San Diego, the New York Mets and St. Louis.

In those games, he's pitched 16 2/3 innings while allowing 18 hits and 12 runs.

Happ opened his season against Leake and the Reds and allowed seven runs in seven hits in four innings on the short end of the 8-2 verdict.

On Sunday in Cincinnati, Emilio Bonifacio hit a three-run homer and Hanley Ramirez added a two-run shot, as the Florida Marlins clubbed a season-high five homers in taking a 9-5 decision over Cincinnati in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Jay Bruce slugged a two-run homer and Brandon Phillips added a solo shot for the Reds, who have dropped three of five and haven't won consecutive games since April 11-12 at San Diego.

Bronson Arroyo (3-3) was touched for seven hits and five runs with a pair of walks and fanned three over seven frames.

In Houston, Carlos Lee belted a three-run homer in support of starting pitcher Bud Norris, but wound up leaving Sunday's 5-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers following a violent collision with teammate Angel Sanchez in the seventh inning.

Lee collided with Sanchez in shallow left field while pursuing a ball hit by Milwaukee's Mark Kotsay. It appeared the Astros shortstop kneed Lee in the ribs. Lee remained down for several minutes before being removed from the field on a cart. He was then taken to a local hospital to have tests performed on his left ribcage.

Norris (2-1) limited the Brewers to three hits and three walks in 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander also recorded 11 strikeouts, three shy of his career high.

Jason Bourgeois collected two hits and scored a run for Houston, which took two straight after dropping Friday's series opener.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Astros earlier in the season.

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