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Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

RHP Jordan Lyles, 22, will be making his 16th start of the season since joining the rotation in May when he pitches Friday's second game of the four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. He will be facing the Blue Jays for the first time in his career. He allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in four innings in a 12-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners in his most recent outing, July 21. Before that he had an 11-inning run where he had an ERA of 3.11. He ranks sixth in the American League with a 2.14 ground ball to fly ball ratio.

OF J.D. Martinez (left lower back contusion) was back in the lineup as DH for Thursday's 4-0 to the Blue Jays. He had missed Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Oakland. He was 1-for-3 with a double, one of two hits against LHP Mark Buehrle in the game.

OF Brandon Barnes (mild left calf strain) was back in the lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. He left Tuesday's game with the calf strain and did not play in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Oakland. Barnes was 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch in Thursday's 4-0 loss at Rogers Centre.

OF Justin Maxwell had the Astros' first hit of the game -- and one of two -- against LHP Mark Buehrle with two out in the fifth inning in a 4-0 loss at Toronto. He was 1-for-3 in the game is batting .258 (8-for-31) in nine games since coming off the disabled list (concussion symptoms) on July 13.

LHP Erik Bedard, who is from Navan, Ont., was making his fifth career start at Rogers Centre on Thursday. He allowed one run and three hits in five innings to take the loss and is 1-3 with a 3.69 ERA in five career starts at Rogers Centre. "He's been doing a great job of really attacking guys," C Jason Castro said of Bedard. "He's got very good stuff, he's got a ton of movement on his pitches. He's really able to kind of mix stuff up out there. He'll speed guys up, slow them down, come at you with different angles and stuff. He's done it a long time, he's comfortable with his stuff. He knows exactly what he's doing out there."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130726/houston-astros-playerwatch-0