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Lyon gives up homer in 10th, Astros lose to Braves
Question of the Day
HOUSTON (AP) - Brandon Lyon has not found a groove since coming off the disabled list.
Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning, lifting the Braves to a 6-3 win over Houston on Saturday night, for their fifth straight victory.
The Astros have lost seven of eight, including all four of their games against the Braves this season. McCann has three homers against Houston, two in Atlanta and one at Minute Maid Park.
Lyon struggled to throw strikes in his second appearance since coming off the DL this week. He also gave up a homer in Friday’s loss to the Braves.
“I didn’t make enough pitches, just fell behind a lot,” Lyon said. “I couldn’t find the strike zone and when I did find the strike zone, they hit the ball. Obviously, I will just come out tomorrow, work through it and try to get better.”
Lyon insists that he is pain free. He was on the disabled list for more than a month with right biceps tendinitis.
“I am not hurt at all. I wish I could make an excuse like that,” he said. “I felt great, I felt fine out there today. I just didn’t make the pitches that I needed to.”
Houston’s Hunter Pence had two hits including an RBI double in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 22 games, which is the longest current streak in the majors.
Pence left Friday’s game after the third inning with tightness in his lower back. Astros manager Brad Mills said that might have helped Pence prolong his streak.
“A lot of times, when something is tweaked you just kind of calm down a little bit,” Mills said. “But he is squaring a lot of balls up right now, seeing the ball real well. He is just a lot calmer at the plate right now.”
Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel allowed two hits and a run in the 10th inning.
Houston rookie Jordan Lyles, who at 20 years old is the youngest player in the majors, allowed eight hits and two runs in 6 1-3 innings in his third start overall and first at Minute Maid Park.
“I just wanted to stand in there and keep making pitches,” said Lyles. “The two times I did give up runs tonight, I really didn’t get into too much trouble.”
Braves starter Mike Minor yielded four hits and two runs with four strikeouts in six innings.
Houston had runners on first and second in the ninth, but Scott Linebrink (2-1) retired Jason Bourgeois to send it to the 10th.
Matt Young singled with one out in the ninth inning but was thrown out trying to steal second base. He was initially called safe but slid away from the base and was tagged out by Clint Barmes before pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad struck out.
The Astros had a shot to take the lead in the seventh inning after singles by Carlos Corporan and Bourgeois, but Michael Bourn grounded out to end the inning.
Diory Hernandez reached on an error by Jeff Keppinger when he couldn’t handle his grounder with none out in the seventh inning. Uggla singled after a sacrifice by Schafer to send Hernandez to third base and chase Lyles.
McCann grounded into a double play off Sergio Escalona to allow Houston to once again escape trouble.
Bourn tripled to the left field corner with one out in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games before Pence and Carlos Lee hit consecutive RBI doubles to nearly the same spot to put Houston up 2-0.
Freddie Freeman doubled in the second inning before a single by Alex Gonzalez put runners at the corners. Young reached on a fielder’s choice but Freeman got thrown out in a rundown between third and home for the second out. Lyles escaped the jam when he struck out Minor.
NOTE: The Astros honored television broadcaster Bill Brown in a pregame ceremony for his 25th season calling Houston’s games.
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