PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 5: Jed Lowrie #4 of the Houston Astros fields a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on July 5, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Houston Astros extended their losing streak to eight games and dropped all seven contests in their most recent road trip. So, welcome home.
On the bright side, the Astros left Pittsburgh a step closer to a true rebuilding process with the trading of Carlos Lee for a pair of minor league prospects. That, however, did nothing for their losing streak that began with a blown save by Brett Myers against the Padres at Minute Maid Park last week and continued through a seven-game road trip against the Cubs and Pirates, NL Central opponents.
This was the week it seemed like nothing could go right for the Stros. They didn't even really dump Lee, considering they're still paying the bulk of his remaining contract. So even the silver lining there is thin as a rail. To make it worse, though, Houston traded away its most accomplished hitter at a time when they're hitting and offensive production in general flat out sucks.
J.D. Martinez hit an RBI-single in the first inning of the series opener to give Houston a 1-0 lead and Scott Moore hit a solo home run later in that game, but the Pirates went for 11 runs in that contest. It would've seriously taken something out of the ordinary for the Stros to compete in that one, with Jordan Lyles giving up seven earned runs on nine hits over four-plus innings.
Lyles actually made the point following that game that he made the pitches he wanted to make, but the other team had better baseball players. That turned out to be a somewhat obvious claim.
Houston was outscored 37-15 in this road trip, and on the business end of three shutouts. They hit .222 in seven games, with just a pair of homers and 15 RBIs. They're team ERA was 5.91.
Against Pittsburgh, there were mental errors on defense, like Jordan Schafer throwing to third instead of second base on a pop fly ball with runners on. And there were more.
The most runs Houston scored against Pittsburgh was seven on Tuesday, but the Bucs still managed to win that one in walk-off fashion.
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