It was a rather quick (by AL standards) and uneventful game. Coco Crips got the Athletics on the board with a homerun in the fourth inning.The Astros struck back via a Jason Castro homerun into the Crawford Boxes but the wheels came off after Bud Norris failed to close out the sixth inning and Bo Porter had to go to the bullpen.
Stikeout Watch: Astros only struck out four times tonight.
Jason Castros gets the Astros on the board with this three run shot to the Crawford Boxes. One thing to note is that all three of the Astros hit in the frame came with two outs.
The A's score four runs after yet another defensive miscue at shortstop. Ronny Cedeno bobbled a ball that allowed a runner to reach first. Following that the A's scored four runs on some weakly hit balls.
Recently called up Dallas Keuchel enters the game in relief. Marwin Gonzalez makes a nice play on a groundball to second and Keuchel strikes out Yoenis Cespedes looking to end the inning.
Keuchel after allowing a couple runs to reach base Keuchel got out of the ninth with a double play ball back to the mound.
Disappointing loss. After Jason Castro homered to give the Astros 3-1 lead the bullpen came in and struggled to get hitters out. Cedeno bobbled an easy out at short that allowed a runner to reach and gave a very good hitting team an extra out to work with. The A's took advantage and scored four runs after the miscue.
Jason Castro, Justin Maxwell and J.D. Martinez all reached base twice via hits.
Bud Norris pitched well but continued to struggle with outing efficiency. He threw 122 pitches in 5.2 innings which was his second highest pitch count total, according to Brian T. Smith:
According to invaluable @baseball_ref, #Astros RHP Bud Norris' 122 pitches tonight were second-most in career. Tops is 123, 8/19/10 vs. Mets— Brian T. Smith (@ChronAstros) April 7, 2013
I'm starting to wonder if the Astros should move Bud Norris to the bullpen and dip into the pitching depth at AAA. Bud Norris hasn't exactly set the world on fire as a starter and could prove to be a presence in the Astros bullpen which could use some presence. I don't think it'll happen but it's something worth considering.