HOUSTON — Astros starters Henry Sosa, J.A. Happ, Brett Myers and Bud Norris posted a 1.73 ERA while allowing just six runs (five earned) on 13 hits over 26 combined innings this past weekend in the four-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez made it five consecutive quality starts for Houston’s rotation in Monday night’s 7-4 win over the Pirates.
The veteran gave up three earned runs on four hits with four walks and a career-high 13 strikeouts over seven innings to earn his 10th victory.
Astros manager Brad Mills couldn’t be more proud of the solid performances, particularly Sosa’s first career big league win versus the organization that signed him as a non-drafted free agent and Happ redeeming himself last Friday in his first start since rejoining Houston’s rotation from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Also, Norris compiled an impressive 10 strikeouts last Sunday afternoon against the team he grew up watching in the Bay Area.
“We had four pretty good guys throw in San Francisco,” Mills said. “Sosa went out and threw an outstanding game. He had a little extra motivation throwing against the organization that he was with. Plus, he wants to show us what he can do. J.A. Happ threw great in his first outing coming back. Myers was Myers continuing to pitch extremely well his last few outings. Bud threw in front of friends and family, because he was close to home.
“You’re always going to be able to draw something else out of motivation. You want the motivation of competition … how you are going to perform on the field to be the best … but more than anything else, all those little side notes have value, as well.”
Mills was pleased with Rodriguez’s outing once the standout lefty started to get into a consistent rhythm by speeding up the tempo.
“With the 13 strikeouts, Wandy was still getting the strikeouts because he had good stuff, but it was just trying to get him to be consistent,” Mills said. “He was kind of fighting himself in finding a rhythm. The last couple of innings, he finally found one and really started throwing the ball well. Once he started speeding up the tempo a little bit, I though he really came around.”
The Astros will give Sosa another opportunity Tuesday night to prove he belongs in the rotation, as the 26-year-old rookie gets the starting nod against Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton.
Houston can take the three-game series with a victory.
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