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Bullpen coming through for Astros

The SportsXchange

A bullpen of a converted starter in Brett Myers, a post-injury reclamation project in

Brandon Lyon and a host of guys who haven't even hit arbitration have turned into one of

the league's best bullpens. The Astros crossed the 3.00 ERA barrier in the bullpen Friday

night, pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings -- all nursing a one-run lead -- in a 5-4 victory

over the St. Louis Cardinals.

They lowered the mark from 3.13, which was already fourth in the National League, to

2.97 in one of the bright spots of a 12-14 season that now includes a four-game winning

streak. Friday night, it was Wesley Wright, Wilton Lopez, Fernando Rodriguez and Brett

Myers, but for the season, it's been pretty much everybody.

"From Day 1, we felt we had good arms down there that could compete with anybody and we

have guys who like to compete," Wright said. "We're not really surprised; we just have to

keep our heads down and keep working."

Wright is the situational lefty. Myers is the closer, and a darn good one so far, with

an ERA of 1.04. After that, there's not really much decided. Rodriguez has been getting

more and more eighth innings, but they seem to be doing well with more interchangeable

pieces than in the past.

"Spring training, we can get their arms ready and get them in shape, but we can't

really put them in game situations until the season starts," manager Brad Mills said.

"It's taken some time; we just didn't establish these roles a week into the season."

Added Rodriguez: "It just seems that we're doing pretty well in whatever situations

we're coming into."
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