The 2016 season seems to be taking one bad turn after another recently for the Astros but there was a silver lining in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Righthander Joe Musgrove spun 4-1/3 shutout innings of relief, striking out eight. He may get a fast track to the Astros rotation.
Musgrove: Here to stay?
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
Lance McCullers allowed solo homers to Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion before leaving in the fifth with discomfort in his pitching elbow. He will be evaluated Wednesday.
Remember in 2012 when Jeff Luhnow was trading everything not nailed down and restocking the minor leagues with prospects? As part of a 10-player deal that July, the Blue Jays sent seven players including five minor leaguers. Four of those five (including Asher Wojciechowski, Carlos Perez and David Rollins) eventually reached the majors now that Musgrove has come up from Fresno. After Wojciechowski, Musgrove was the most highly rated at the time.
Musgrove had the Jays eating seeds the rest of the night, allowing just one hit and one walk in his big league debut.
The unpredictable R.A. Dickey had his knuckler working for the Jays. Houston did not get their only run until the seventh when Carlos Gomez doubled and Evan Gattis singled him home. On the bright side, Jose Altuve picked up three hits (his batting average now at .360) and Carlos Correa had two. On the other hand, Alex Bregman (.031 now since being called up) and A.J. Reed (.143) both went 0-for-4 at the plate.
The Rangers lost in Baltimore so no ground was lost in the AL West race, but Detroit won to put out a little more distance in the wild card race.
The third game of the series takes place Wednesday night at 7:10 Central. Collin McHugh (7-7), well-rested after his Motor City Massacre of last Friday, will pitch to Canada's favorite sons. Veteran righthander Marco Estrada (6-4) gets the nod for Toronto.
Fans at the park didn't see it, but the Houston bullpen got shuffled overnight. Luke Gregerson was put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. Reed was the player called up to take his place on the 25-man roster. The move was retroactive to last Thursday. All-Star Will Harris was pulled from his closer role after two blown saves on this tailspin and replaced by Ken Giles (1-3, 3.80 ERA).
- Bob Hulsey