- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - Doug Fister had trouble locating his pitches on Tuesday night and it doomed the Houston Astros in a 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees.

Fister (10-7) allowed nine hits and six runs, which both tied season highs, in 4 2/3 innings.

“I didn’t execute today,” Fister said. “Basically, I let my team down. It was execution. I left balls over the middle.”

The Astros led by 1 when Mark Teixeira doubled in the second inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius to tie it. Chase Headley hit an RBI single later in the inning to put New York on top.

Starlin Castro’s run-scoring single with two outs in the third pushed the lead to 3-1.



Fister plunked Brian McCann to start the fifth inning before Teixeira singled. The Astros intentionally walked Castro with one out to load the bases before McCann scored on a sacrifice fly by Headley. The first triple of the season for Aaron Hicks came next to score two more and chase Fister.

“They came up pretty hot with the hits,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “They were clearly aggressive, he’s always in the strike zone, and he’s pretty bullish with his fastball. He escaped it a little bit early, but then obviously, they opened it up in the fifth.”

CC Sabathia allowed just two runs in 6 2/3 innings to get back on track after a tough stretch and help the Yankees to the victory.

Sabathia (6-8) allowed four hits and struck out five to pick up his first win since June 16 after going 0-4 and allowing 31 runs - 29 earned - combined in his past six starts.

Things didn’t look good early on Tuesday night when he allowed a solo home run to Marwin Gonzalez in the first inning. But he settled in after that, allowing only one single over the next five innings.

The Yankees led by five when Evan Gattis homered to start Houston’s seventh and cut it to 6-2. Sabathia was lifted after a two-out single by Carlos Gomez in that inning.

Andrew Miller allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his second save since Aroldis Chapman was traded Monday and ninth overall.

Gonzalez added a solo homer in the eighth for his first career multi-home run game. His first home run was right-handed and the second one from the left to make the switch-hitter the first Houston player to homer from both sides in the same game since Lance Berkman did it in 2006.

The Astros loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Dellin Betances struck out Jason Castro on three pitches to end the threat.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Houston 3B Luis Valbuena left Tuesday’s game in the second inning with a strained right hamstring. Valbuena pulled up after hitting a grounder and fell face down on to the dirt halfway between home plate and first base. Trainers looked at him for a minute before he was helped to his feet and limped off the field.

A DIFFERENT PATH?

NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, who spent his entire 14-year career with the San Antonio Spurs, attended the game with some students he provided scholarships for. He lamented a baseball career that was cut short while watching batting practice.

“It was my favorite sport up until my senior year of high school. I played first base, pitched some,” he said. “(But) all through high school I grew like three inches a year so it killed my baseball career. Which now being out here I’m really sad about that, but basketball turned out OK.”

WHO’S ON FIRST

Jason Castro, who was getting a day off from catching with Evan Gattis behind the plate, made his first career appearance at first base in the third inning after Valbuena left the game and Hinch moved Gonzalez from first base to third. Before Tuesday, Castro had only played catcher and been the designated hitter in his six-year career.

“It had been a while since Castro played there,” Hinch said. “That’s a lot of baseball left to play a National League game by losing the DH. Not knowing where that game was going, I felt comfortable with Castro stepping in there.”

UP NEXT

Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 3.00) will start in the series finale on Wednesday. Tanaka, who leads the majors with a 1.50 ERA on the road this season, enters the game with an 11-inning scoreless streak.

Astros: Lance McCullers (5-4, 3.33) is scheduled to start for Houston on Wednesday. McCullers allowed one run and struck out 10 in a season-high eight-plus innings in a win over the Angels in his previous start.

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