MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - INSIDE PITCH
Former No. 2 starter Lucas Harrell made his 2013 debut as a reliever on Tuesday, taking over for Bud Norris in the sixth inning and allowing four hits, two runs and two walks in three frames.
Harrell said he was initially unsure how many pitches he needed to throw while warming up and relied on teammates for assistance.
"It was something new. I kind of warmed up like I was starting a little bit, because I had a little bit of time," he said. "It was good. It was a good experience. I just didn't execute.
"I've got to pitch better or I'm not going to be here. It's just the name of the game."
General manager Jeff Luhnow has the ability to trade his No. 1 starter, Norris, and former No. 2 before the deadline. Tuesday, the GM addressed Harrell's frustration about being moved to the bullpen.
"Lucas is a big priority for our organization and what's important is that we get him back to the point where he is having consistently solid outings every time," Luhnow said. "He's been dominant at times this year and he's really struggled at other times this year.
"We're giving him a break from an every-five-day role so that he can work on some things, get his mind cleared, develop some confidence. But I fully expect him to be a major contributor to the second half of the year as a starting pitcher."
MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost three
PAST 10 GAMES: 2-8
NEXT: Friday -- Astros (Jarred Cosart, major league debut) at Rays (David Price, 3-4, 4.18)
--RHP Jarred Cosart will be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his major league debut Friday night in Tampa Bay against David Price. The 23-year-old is known for a knee-buckling curve and has produced a 7-4 mark with a 3.29 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. One concern: 50 walks over 93 innings, though he has struck out 93.
--OF Jimmy Paredes was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City after Wednesday's game to clear a roster spot for Friday's starting pitcher, RHP Jarred Cosart. In his latest two-week stint in the majors, Paredes went 2-for-17 (.118). On the season, he's hitting .178 with a .229 on-base percentage, one homer and eight RBIs in 37 games.
--RHP Jordan Lyles had his sinker working well Wednesday night, producing 13 groundouts and leaving with a 4-3 lead over the Cardinals in the seventh inning. Lyles again displayed excellent control, walking just two while throwing into a pretty tight strike zone, and he gave Houston a chance to win before the bullpen coughed it up.
--1B Brett Wallace registered a career-high four hits, including an RBI single in the seventh that gave the Astros a short-lived 4-3 lead. Wallace is 8-for-21 (.381) in his last five games against the Cardinals, knocking in runs in all five. He used the entire ballpark Wednesday night, spraying hits to all fields.
--LF Chris Carter displayed his power Wednesday night with his 18th homer, a line shot just over the wall in the second inning. It was Carter's 11th homer away from Minute Maid Park. He's reached base in 19 of his last 21 games, dating back to June 15.
--SS Ronny Cedeno didn't play Wednesday due to a bruised left big toe. He left Tuesday's game in the bottom of the fifth after fouling a pitch off the toe. Rookie Jake Elmore took his place Wednesday and went 0-for-3 with two walks as the leadoff man.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I Just need to make better pitches." -- RHP Jordan Lyles, who left with a lead but wound up with a no-decision Wednesday in the Astros' 5-4 loss to the Cardinals.
MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - ROSTER REPORT
--SS Ronny Cedeno (bruised left big toe) left the July 9 game, and he didn't play July 10. He is day-to-day.
--RHP Bud Norris (sore left ankle) was hurt July 9. He isn't expected to miss his next start.
--OF Justin Maxwell (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list June 30. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on July 8.
--OF Trevor Crowe (right shoulder sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 21. There is no timetable for his return.
--RHP Edgar Gonzalez (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 26.
--RHP Alex White (Tommy John surgery in April 2013) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He is out for the season.
RHP Bud Norris
RHP Jordan Lyles
LHP Erik Bedard
LHP Dallas Keuchel
RHP Jarred Cosart
RHP Jose Veras (closer)
LHP Wesley Wright
RHP Paul Clemens
LHP Travis Blackley
RHP Jose Cisnero
RHP Josh Fields
LHP Brett Oberholtzer
RHP Lucas Harrell
1B Brett Wallace
2B Jose Altuve
SS Ronny Cedeno
3B Matt Dominguez
DH Carlos Pena
INF Jake Elmore
LF Chris Carter
CF Brandon Barnes
RF J.D. Martinez
OF Marc Krauss