Team Report - HOUSTON ASTROS

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

OAKLAND -- Astros manager Bo Porter was hoping for a better start after his team lost 111 games last season.

Instead, the Astros own the worst record in the American League. Friday's 11-3 loss to the A's left Houston with a 5-12 record.

Until Friday, the biggest problem was the offense. But Friday, the problem was pitching. Starter Jarred Cosart lasted just a third of an inning, and the Astros were down 7-zip in a hurry.

But at the end of the night, they had collected 10 hits.

"It's a small sample size," Porter said. "You can get caught up in it really easy. Just as fast as a guy goes 0-for-20, a guy can go 10-for-20 and be the best player ever. It comes in cycles. You've got to think, "I've got to continue to grind, work and know that success is right around the corner.' "

How could Porter say that?

"No. 1, 2013 is behind us," he said. "And we have a lot of season left. If you look at the small sample and let it define you, then you're not cut out to be here."

Porter added, "These offensive woes are going to be behind us. It'll all come together. We're going to hit our stride, and we're going to win a lot of ballgames."

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 5-12

STREAK: Lost five

NEXT: Astros (LHP Brett Oberholtzer, 0-3, 3.50 ERA) at A's (LHP Scott Kazmir, 2-0, 1.40)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RF George Springer batted cleanup for the first time and went 2-for-4 with his first career RBI. It was his third big-league game, having been called up Wednesday from Triple-A Oklahoma City after hitting .353 with three homers, four doubles, one triple, nine RBIs and four steals in 13 games. He batted second his first two games for Houston.

--LF Alex Presley was scratched with flu-like symptoms, and L.J. Hoes took his place and went 1-for-4. Several Astros have been slowed with the flu of late.

--RHP Jarred Cosart was rocked by the A's. He gave up seven runs and was pulled after getting just one out in the first inning. He gave up two homers, walked four and threw 39 pitches, just 15 strikes. Afterward, he said the baseballs were slippery. "They were slipping out of my hand a little bit. I was all over the place. ... I don't know if it's something we'll look into. It definitely wasn't an excuse," Cosart said.

--RHP Paul Clemens was a busy man Friday. He got called into action early (one out into the first inning) and tossed 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and two homers. He also threw at SS Jed Lowrie in the fourth inning after Lowrie bunted in the first inning with the A's leading 7-0. Lowrie glared at Clemens, prompting Clemens to say, "Lowrie is not an imposing guy. I guess I was a little surprised a guy like that kind of got stirred up. So be it."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Nothing happened. The game takes care of itself." -- Houston manager Bo Porter, refusing to talk further about Oakand SS Jed Lowrie's bunt or the pitch that nearly hit him Friday night.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--RHP Jesse Crain (right biceps surgery in October 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He returned to the Astros' spring training facility in Kissimmee, Fla., on April 8 to continue his rehabilitation. He is expected to return to the active roster in May.

--RHP Asher Wojciechowski (right lat strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He is expected to miss the first month of the season, and he could be optioned to the minor leagues when he is healthy.

--RHP Alex White (Tommy John surgery in April 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.

ROTATION:

RHP Scott Feldman

RHP Jarred Cosart

LHP Brett Oberholtzer

RHP Brad Peacock

LHP Dallas Keuchel

BULLPEN:

RHP Chad Qualls (closer)

RHP Matt Albers

RHP Josh Fields

LHP Raul Valdes

RHP Jerome Williams

RHP Anthony Bass

RHP Paul Clemens

CATCHERS:

Jason Castro

Carlos Corporan

INFIELDERS:

1B Jesus Guzman/Marc Krauss

2B Jose Altuve

SS Jonathan Villar

3B Matt Dominguez

INF Marwin Gonzalez

INF Chris Carter

OUTFIELDERS:

LF George Springer

CF Dexter Fowler

RF L.J. Hoes/Alex Presley

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