(Sports Network) - The Houston Astros get a taste of some National League
baseball on Friday when they play the first of three games against their
former division rival Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
"We're looking forward to going to Pittsburgh and playing the National League
style of baseball again," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
The Astros' maiden voyage into the American League hasn't exactly gone as
planned, as the team is tied with the Miami Marlins for the worst record in
baseball at 11-30. Then again, their final two seasons in the NL weren't
exactly smooth either, as they have lost more than 100 games in each of the
last two seasons.
Help could be on the way, though, as the team is expected to name Reid Ryan,
the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, as team President on Friday.
Houston managed to salvage the finale of its three-game set with the Detroit
Tigers on Wednesday, as Carlos Corporan doubled in the go-ahead run during
the top of the ninth inning to give the Astros a much-needed 7-5 victory.
Corporan also had a solo home run as part of a 2-for-3 performance, with J.D.
Martinez adding a three-run blast to help the Astros halt a six-game skid and
pick up their first win in seven matchups with Detroit this season.
Hector Ambriz (1-2) recorded the final out of the eighth to notch the win,
with Jose Veras working out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to register his
fifth save of the year.
Trying to give the Astros consecutive wins on Friday will be righty Jordan
Lyles, who is 1-1 with an 8.36 ERA. Lyles lost to Texas on Sunday and was
hammered for eight runs and 11 hits in just four innings.
Lyles' struggles could continue, as he is a miserable 0-4 lifetime versus the
Pirates with a 7.77 ERA in five starts.
"Faced them a couple times, hadn't had my way with them," Lyles said. "They've
had their way, just needed to attack the zone. I know they have a lot of
lefties in their lineup, and their heart of the lineup is pretty good with
(Andrew) McCutchen. So got to make pitches and attack the lower half of the
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, won for the sixth time in seven tries on Thursday, as
Travis Snider had a two-run homer among his three hits and the Pirates downed
the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-1.
Snider drove in three and the first of a four-run sixth inning to break the
contest open. Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Neil Walker and Clint Barmes
each contributed an RBI to help the Pirates to the victory.
"It was good to see us continue to score, get the game to a comfortable place,
its was a good finish for us," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
Pittsburgh received a second straight strong outing from Francisco Liriano
(2-0), who fired 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He struck out seven and
allowed six hits and three walks.
Getting the call for the Pirates on Friday will be righty Jeanmar Gomez, who
is 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA. Gomez was terrific on Sunday against the New York
Mets, but did not get a decision, despite giving up just one run and two hits
in five innings of his team's 3-2 win.
Gomez lost his only other start to the Astros.
Pittsburgh beat the Astros 12 of the 17 times the teams met a year ago.
The Sports Network