Astros get one more chance to halt slide vs. Yankees
The Houston Astros have one more chance to snap their longest losing streak in franchise history this season. They wrap things up on Sunday afternoon with the finale of a three-game set with the New York Yankees.
The Astros have lost 14 in a row and Saturday's 2-1 loss made them only the third team since 1970 to lose 110 games in a single season.
In an emotional game, Andy Pettitte closed out his brilliant career with his first complete game since Aug. 16, 2006, lifting the Yankees to victory. It marked the first time Pettitte went the distance since his final season with the Astros.
The win also lifted Pettitte to 11-11, ensuring that none of his 18 seasons ended with a losing record.
Pettitte, who was raised in nearby Deer Park, TX and spent three of his 18 seasons with the Astros, yielded just five hits and two walks while striking out five to earn the 256th win of his career. The 114-pitch effort came with a throng of family and friends cheering the 41-year-old on at Minute Maid Park.
"It was almost a fairytale," Pettitte said. "I'm thankful and fortunate and blessed. It's another day I'll never forget."
New York gave Pettitte all the support he needed with a two-run sixth inning, with the deciding tally coming on a throwing error by Houston catcher Matt Pagnozzi. Robinson Cano had an RBI single earlier in the frame and finished 2- for-4.
Paul Clemens was saddled with the setback after permitting two runs -- one earned -- over 5 1/3 innings. Jose Altuve finished 2-for-4 and scored Houston's lone run.
"You don't want to end the season on a losing streak," Houston manager Bo Porter told his club's website. "It's unfortunate we've had this bump in the road late in the year. We had avoided the long (losing) stretch throughout the course of this year. It's almost like it's one play here, one play there that really end up being costly. (Sunday) we're going to come back and fight hard and try to end the season with a win heading to the offseason."
Porter will turn to left-hander Erik Bedard, who is 4-12 with a 4.81 earned run average in 31 games this year, including 25 starts.
Bedard is coming off back-to-back losing starts, giving up 10 runs over nine innings. That includes a 9-2 setback to Cleveland last Sunday as he yielded six runs over five innings while striking out eight.
The 34-year-old is 4-5 with a 4.58 ERA lifetime versus the Yankees, who will give David Huff his second start of the season today.
Huff has made 10 total appearances and is 3-1 with a 5.16 ERA. His first start came on Sept. 7 versus Boston and he took a loss after allowing nine runs over 3 1/3 innings.
The 29-year-old southpaw last pitched on Wednesday versus the Tampa Bay Rays, charged with four runs over 3 2/3 innings of relief.
Huff has never before faced Houston, which New York is 12-2 against all-time. The Yankees took two of three from the visiting Astros from April 29-May 1.