Posted: 9:52 a.m. Saturday, May 4, 2013
By Timothy De Block
For the second consecutive night the Houston Astros failed to hold a late lead. With a one run lead in the ninth inning, Jose Veras give up a two-run homerun to catch Alex Avila that landed in the Five-Seven Grill patio and gave the Tigers a one run lead. Robbie Grossman walked with one out in the ninth inning but failed to scored after Jose Altuve grounded out and Jason Castro lined out to left.
It was the second heart breaking lose in a row for the Astros.
Biggest Positive: After a 14-inning game that saw the Astros use every bullpen pitcher, Bud Norris came out and pitched a strong seven innings giving the bullpen a much needed break. He held the reigning American League champions to two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven Tigers.
Biggest Negative: Jose Veras walked the first batter in the ninth inning, gave up a deep fly ball to center to the next batter then gave up the two-run homerun. This coming after a game in which he struck out all four batters he faced.
Turning Point: After scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Astros still had runners on first and second with one out. Both runners took off when Detroit pitcher Drew Smyly began his wind-up. The play was called dead because Carlos Pena, the batter at the plate, had called time just as Smyly went to pitch nullifying any attempt by the runners to move up a base. Brownie and Alan Ashby pointed out that Bo Porter looked annoyed that Pena had called time. When Pena got back to the dugout after grounding out to first, moving up both runners, he had the look of a guy that missed a sign. Carlos Corporan would strikeout swinging to end the Astros threat in the seventh.
Today's Game: The Astros start play at 6:10 p.m. CT. Lucas Harrell will be on the mound for the Astros and Max Scherzer will be on the mound for the Tigers going for a series win.