Game 29: Lyles struggles, homers fly
In their final game of the year at Osceola County Stadium, the Astros lost to the Yankees, 11-9, when the game was called with two outs in the top of the ninth inning with rain falling (boxscore). Houston will take a 14-15 record into its Grapefruit League finale on Sunday against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.
Astros owner Jim Crane toured the Mets’ spring facility before flying to Kissimmee on Saturday for the Astros game. Here’s what he had to say about possibly moving the team out of Kissimmee when the lease expires in 2016.
For an update on the health of Jed Lowrie, click here.
Here’s the breakdown:
What went right: There were plenty of things to like offensively, with the Astros belting four home runs. Sure, the wind was blowing out, but several Astros players put good swings on some balls. The Astros hit four home runs — Justin Ruggiano (2-for-4, four RBIs) had a three-run homer and Brian Bogusevic (2-for-4), Carlos Lee and Chris Johnson (3-for-4) had solo shots to pace the Astros’ 14-hit attack.
Bogusevic homered off a left-hander, which pleased manager Brad Mills, and Johnson went the other way.
Elsewhere at the plate, Travis Buck went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Jose Altuve, Chris Snyder, Landon Powell and Marwin Gonzalez each had a hit.
Only two Astros pitchers didn’t give up a run, and neither pitched a full inning. David Carpenter got the final out in the fifth to escape a mess, and Fernando Rodriguez got two outs in the ninth before the game was called.
What went wrong: The Yankees, taking advantage of a stiff wind (like the Astros did, too), slugged five homers. Starter Jordan Lyles’ final start of the spring wasn’t a good one. He allowed 11 hits and eight runs in 4 2/3 innings to raise his spring ERA to 8.41.
“Nothing went as planned,” Lyles said. “I didn’t throw it to my target, and when it was over the plate they hit it really hard. It wasn’t my day. I’ve got to do a better job of eliminating the big innings when I don’t have my control and my stuff.”
The Astros now have a difficult decision to make on Lyles, who made 15 starts last year at 20 years old but was out-pitched this spring by Kyle Weiland and Lucas Harrell.
“We’re discussing everything,” Mills said. “We’re going through all kinds of things right now with our starters and the games we have left [in exhibition season]. We want to look at everything and go from there.”
Brandon Lyon pitched for the second day in a row and gave up two homers in one inning. The Astros didn’t commit any errors, but they weren’t crisp on defense early in the game and allowed the Yankees to keep some innings going.
J.D. Martinez went 0-for-4 and was the only starter sans a hit.
What they said: “I know I’ve had a bad outing here or there. Hopefully, those couple of outings won’t hold me back or hinder me. They might feel like other guys have pitched better in Spring Training, which they might have. There’s no excuses. I should have pitched better if that’s the case.” — Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles on his chances of making the Opening Day roster.
What’s next: The Astros close out the Grapefruit League portion of their spring schedule when they face the Detroit Tigers at 12:05 p.m. CT in Lakeland, Fla. Wandy Rodriguez, the Astros’ Opening Day starter, will make his final start of the spring before facing the Rockies on April 6 in Houston.
Injury update: CF Jordan Schafer (left hand) took batting practice Saturday and should get a couple of at-bats Sunday, which would mark his first game action in two weeks. … SS Jed Lowrie (right thumb) is going to be out for a few more days.