Apr 9, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CA; Houston Astros manager Bo Porter (L) relieves starting pitcher Lucas Harrell (64) during the fifth inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros Drop Another Lucas Harrell Start

Lucas Harrell pitches, the Houston Astros lose. That’s been a theme for over a year now and it’s only a matter of time before it ends. It’s either going to end because Harrell will improve or because he himself will be gone. One way or another it needs to end.

The Blue Jays jumped on Harrell early putting up two runs in the first inning. Jose Bautista doubled in the first run, and Adam Lind singled against the shift for the second run. That prompted Eduardo Perez, former Astros coach and current ESPN color analyst, to say, “I get the shifting, but not when Lucas Harrell is on the mound. It affects him mentally.” Could it be that Jeff Luhnow and/or Bo Porter don’t care and prefer to go with the shifts anyway? We know Harrell spoke out against shifting last season. It’s an interesting side story to monitor.

The Blue Jays got another three runs in the fifth inning via a Matt Dominguez error. With runners on second and third and one out, the Astros elected to Adam Lind to get to Dioner Navarro. Harrell induced the groundball to Dominguez but he airmailed the throw over Jose Altuve which brought in two runs. Jerome Williams took over to get the final two outs in the inning.

The Astros did strike back the next half inning thanks to a Alex Presley two-run home run, his second of the season. Jose Altuve tripled later in the inning and scored on a Chris Carter groundout.

It was the second straight night the Astros picked off a baserunner. Jerome Williams picked off Ryan Goins, who appeared to be safe on replay. Blue Jays manager, John Gibbons came out of the dugout to argue, but decided not to challenge the ruling on the field. It was an interesting choice and one that may have cost the Blue Jays even more runs.

Following the pickoff, Maicer Izturis walked and Jose Bautista reached on another Matt Dominguez error (this time a tougher play but one he still should have made), leaving it first and second with two outs. Edwin Encarnacion was up to bat and after Jerome Williams turned it into a 2-2 count, he called over to the Astros dugout to come out of the game due to injury. Josh Zeid came into the game and threw an 86MPH breaking ball for strike three.

Brett Lawrie continued the Blue Jays scoring with a two-run home run against Zeid in the seventh inning. Zeid settled down afterwards and finished the game allowing 3 hits and 2 ER while striking out 3 in 2.1 innings.

Lucas Harrell struggled in today’s outing, allowing 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), and 3 walks while only striking out 2 batters. He finished throwing 107 pitches, only 59 of them for strikes. There is no update on Jerome Williams who left the game after throwing 1.1 scoreless innings.

Astros/Blue Jays Box Score and Highlights

The Astros will try to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow as Dallas Keuchel takes the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 6:07 PM and can be seen on CSN Houston.

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Tags: Houston Astros

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