The Astros' games of hide the fifth starter are coming to an end. Jordan Lyles got the start Tuesday, and Lyles is going to be the starter, at least for a while. No more shuttle to Oklahoma City.
The Astros have found a knack for manipulating the rotation using off-days to keep only four starters in the major leagues most days and use a larger bullpen.
As a starter, whether Lyles or Aneury Rodriguez, had come up to take the spot that belonged to injured Kyle Weiland, he was sent down after the game to return to an eight-man bullpen.
This time though, according to Brad Mills, Lyles is getting another start, which probably will be Sunday against the Rangers.
"We're looking forward to seeing him get another start for us," Mills said.
And why not? In his second start of the year, Lyles mixed pitches well Tuesday but got no decision as part of a 4-3 loss to the Phillies in 10 innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) in his six innings, with home runs by Brian Schneider and Hunter Pence the only blemishes.
"For the most part it went pretty well," Lyles said. "I couple pitches I left up, I wish I could have the one to Schneider back. I just missed over the plate with a fastball; I had a longer inning that inning and there's a good chance he was probably looking fastball."
It capped an odd week for Lyles, as the Astros were wondering if they could skip the No. 5 spot again had the rain that was predicted to make it to Philadelphia actually stayed throughout the game.
While Lyles left the Triple-A club Monday, he wasn't sure he was going to pitch until the game was declared a go. Lyles was activated roughly an hour before Tuesday's start with reliever David Carpenter demoted to make room.