Houston at Baltimore, 6:04 pm (CT)
RHP Lucas Harrell ( 5-10 / 5.17 ERA / 1.66 WHIP) vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen ( 5 - 3 / 2.78 ERA / 1.18 WHIP)
The world keeps spinning on as Astros fans wait to find out Bud Norris' fate. Early this afternoon, the Astros announced that Bud Norris had been scratched from his scheduled start. In his place, Lucas Harrell would be taking the mound in the first game in Baltimore.
With or without Bud Norris, the Astros still have to play tonight's game. Lets take a look at the O's. Currently five games back of the Rays, and 4.5 games behind the Red Sox at the top of the American League East Division. They are currently at the top of the wild card standing, just head of Cleveland and Texas.
The O's offense has been lead by all-star Adam Jones and Nick Markakis over the last six games. Markakis is batting .364 (8-22) with three runs scored. Jones has a .652 slugging percentage with two home runs and five runs batted. Veteran Brian Roberts returned from the disabled list on June 30, batting .236 since that date. Over the last six games, he has gotten hot, batting .300 (6-20) with two runs batted in. The three other starting Baltimore infielders, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, and Manny Machado, are batting .150 over this same time period. Chris Davis has 14 strikeouts in his last 22 at-bats.
Tonight's start is Wei-Yin Chen, Chen has returned to full form from an injury to his right oblique. Eight of his 11 starts this season have been quality starts. In his last start, in Kansas City, he held the Royals to three runs over 7 1/3 innings. At Camden Yards this season, Chen is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA. Chris Carter is the lone Astro with a previous at-bats against Chen, he is 0-for-2 with a two strikeouts and walk.
As preivous noted, Lucas Harrell would be returning to the rotation in place of Bud Norris. Harrell was sent to the bullpen after giving up seven earned runs in two of last three starts. He has given up at least one run in each of four relief appearances - 6.35 ERA in 4 relief appearances. In his previous start against Baltimore on June 4, Harrell allowed one run over seven innings; striking out six and walking none. Arguably, Harrell's most effective start of the year. Manny Machado accounted for the lone O's run with a solo home run.
Lets start the #hugwatch.
Manny Machado was struck with a line drive during batting practice, and he was taken into the dugout for examination. It appears Machado will still play.
Buck says Machado will play.— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) July 30, 2013
The liner got him on the muscle below Machado's left elbow. Buck said it was a topspin liner.— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) July 30, 2013
Buck said they may take a Precautionary X-ray. But they think it is ok— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) July 30, 2013