PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Brad Peacock struggled with his fastball command again, but the Houston Astros haven’t lost confidence in the right-hander.
Chase Utley hit a three-run homer, and Ben Revere had four hits, including a triple, to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-3 victory over the Astros on Wednesday night.
Peacock (3-8) was making his first big-league start since being sent to the minors to work on his fastball command. He allowed eight runs and seven hits in five innings, and lost his third straight start.
He had an 18.00 ERA in his previous two starts with the Astros, which landed him in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Phillies jumped on Peacock in the first inning for five runs and four hits, highlighted by Ryan Howard’s two-run double. Phillies starter David Buchanan drove in the final run of the frame with his first major-league hit in his 18th at-bat.
“I couldn’t get into a groove,” Peacock said. “I was probably working a little too quick. I was a little amped up.”
Despite the outing, Houston manager Bo Porter said he believes Peacock will turn things around.
“We’ll continue to give him opportunities,” Porter said. “We believe he’s a major league pitcher. We think he’ll get over the hurdle.”
Porter saw the same problems in this outing as in his previous two.
“It’s what we talked about when we sent him out, the ability to command his pitches,” he said. “In the first inning he missed a few spots, and they made good swings. The ability to command his fastball has been his No. 1 problem.”
Howard had two hits and two RBIs with a double for Philadelphia, which had scored just two runs in 35 2-3 innings entering Wednesday. The Phillies topped the Astros 2-1 in 15 innings on Tuesday night.
Buchanan (6-5) was called up again to replace Cliff Lee, who was placed on the disabled list because of a left elbow strain sustained last Thursday.
Buchanan, whose strategy was to get ahead of hitters, gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks. He filled in for Lee during the left-hander’s previous two-month stint on the DL but made his last three starts in the minors.
Utley’s homer in the fourth gave Philadelphia an 8-2 lead.
“It was a bad pitch to Utley, but after that I felt great,” Peacock said. “But the numbers are the numbers.”