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This Day In Astros History: April 25, 1970

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This game is another loss, but it's a good time to highlight one of the Astros starting pitchers you may not have realized was on the team. When the Chicago Cubs beat Houston 11-5 on a Saturday in Wrigley, it was Jim Bouton who started and took the loss for Houston. That's the same Bouton who grew famous for his tell-all (and very funny) book Ball Four.

The knuckler apparently wasn't knuckling for Bouton on this day, as he gave up eight hits, six runs and two walks in four innings while striking out two. He also lost his second game of the young season, his first full season with Houston after coming over in a trade the previous year. Bouton only started six games that season for Houston, despite appearing in 29 games. He struck out 49 in 73 1/3 innings while walking 33 and finished with a record of 4-6. Bouton only played one more season in the majors, appearing in five games with Atlanta in 1978.

Bouton's book was actually a diary he kept during the '69 season and was published first in June of '70. Bouton was sent to the minors in July of that season and decided to retire instead to pursue a TV anchor job in New York.

Another memorable player also made a big splash in this game, albeit for the wrong team. A 39-year old Ernie Banks hit his first home run of the season in this game, going 2 for 5 with 4 RBIs. Banks only hit 14 more home runs in his career, which had just 99 games left in it.

Banks' three-run home run gave the Cubs a 5-3 lead, which they never relinquished. Jimmy Wynn also hit a home run in this game for Houston, while Bouton drove in a run. It was one of just 21 career RBIs for Bouton.

Another famous Yankee made an appearance for Houston, as Joe Pepitone started in right field and went 3 for 5 with a triple. Pepitone only played 75 games with Houston, which was 976 less than he played with New York.

Here's a link to the graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.