Andy Pettitte just failed to reach a personal milestone.
Pettitte will pitch against the only other major league team he's played for on Monday night when the Yankees go for a fifth straight win.
Trying to post victories in each of his first four starts for the first time, Pettitte (3-1, 2.22 ERA) gave up all of the runs in Wednesday's 3-0 loss at Tampa Bay. The left-hander, though, fanned 10 in six innings for his 15th double-digit strikeout game."I was surprised we got three runs off him. I thought this guy is not going to give anything up tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "... He was pretty impressive."
Pettitte will go down as one of the greatest pitchers in Yankees history, but he hasn't always worn pinstripes. After helping New York win four World Series, he signed with the Astros in 2004. Playing near his home in Deer Park, Pettitte went 37-26 with a 3.38 ERA in three seasons with Houston before returning to the Bronx.
In the Astros' first game at new Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2010, Pettitte went 7 1-3 innings in a 4-3 victory that made him the third pitcher in Yankees history to reach 200 wins, joining Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing .
New York swept that three-game series to improve to 8-1 versus Houston.
The AL-worst Astros (7-18) don't appear to be in any position to improve that mark as they arrive in the Bronx on a nine-game road losing streak. The AL's newest team was outscored 28-10 in a four-game set in Boston over the weekend, going 5 for 38 (.132) with runners in scoring position.
"I know we're struggling right now, but we have to make some adjustments," outfielder Fernando Martinez told the Astros' official website following Sunday's 6-1 loss. "We'll be fine."
Lucas Harrell (2-2, 4.08) has been Houston's most consistent starter so far, giving up two runs or fewer in four of his five outings. He held the opposition to one for a third time Wednesday against Seattle, matching the Astros' longest start of the season by going seven innings in a 10-3 win.
"Strike one was huge today. My goal was to attack and get strike one," Harrell said.
The right-hander's lone experience against the Yankees (15-9) came when he recorded two outs for the White Sox in June 2010.
With Kevin Youkilis set to undergo an MRI on Monday for a back injury that's kept him out of six of the last seven games, Harrell could get his first look at Lyle Overbay , who hit a two-run homer on Sunday.
Another first-year Yankee, Brennan Boesch - who is 4 for 4 off Harrell - also went deep as the injury-plagued Yankees won for the ninth time in 11 home games."We've seen very good players come to New York and take time to adjust," manager Joe Girardi said. "We've seen guys that have injury plagued seasons that continue to have them and you can't shake that. We felt that we were going to have to win a lot of close games."
The Yankees are 9-1 in games decided by two runs or fewer.
|April 24, 2013||Justin Maxwell||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|April 20, 2013||J.D. Martinez||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|April 19, 2013||J.D. Martinez||Day-to-Day||Sprained Knee|
|April 05, 2013||Travis Blackley||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|April 05, 2013||Travis Blackley||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|April 04, 2013||Josh Fields||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|New York Yankees|
|April 27, 2013||Francisco Cervelli||15-Day DL||Fractured right hand|
|April 27, 2013||Ivan Nova||15-Day DL||Right triceps inflammation|
|April 26, 2013||Ivan Nova||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow soreness|
|April 26, 2013||Francisco Cervelli||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hand|
|April 22, 2013||Kevin Youkilis||Day-to-Day||Lower back tightness|
|April 12, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist contusion|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Most of the Houston Astros stood at the top of the dugout steps and applauded Carlos Corporan 's two-run double in the first inning. Lucas Harrell slapped his glove with gusto after his infielders turned double plays. Music thumped in the upbeat visiting clubhouse after a satisfying victory.
These young Astros are trying to make a name for themselves, and they're having a great time.
Corporan homered among his four hits and drove in four runs, Brandon Barnes had three hits and three RBIs, and the Astros fit comfortably into the role of a slugging American League squad Monday night with a 9-1 romp over the New York Yankees .
"I know they can do it," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You're just waiting for it to happen night in and night out and be consistent. That's why we stay positive, because we know it's in there."
In their first game in the Bronx as an AL team, the Astros peppered Andy Pettitte for 10 hits and seven runs, both season highs for the left-hander. Barnes and Corporan had two-run doubles and Barnes added an RBI single and a double. Barnes and Corporan each set career highs for hits and RBIs.
Houston bounced back from a four-game sweep in Boston with an enthusiastic win over the Yankees, who had just taken four straight from Toronto.
The Astros had 17 hits in improving the AL's worst record to 8-18 and scored their first five runs with two outs.
Lucas Harrell (3-2) kept New York grounded. The Yankees did not hit the ball in the air against the sinkerballer until Brett Gardner blooped a single into left field with one out in the sixth - eliciting a mock cheer from those that remained from the announced crowd of 34,262 on a dank night. Harrell got 14 groundball outs, and he induced three double plays in the first four innings.
In 6 1-3 innings, the right-hander gave up eight hits, hit a batter and walked one. He struck out four and had one flyout. Harrell has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his six starts.
"I wanted to show, `Hey, the Astros, we could play with anybody,"' Harrell said.
The youngest roster in the majors, checking in with an average age of 27 years, 224 days, beat the oldest in baseball at 31 years, 155 days, according to STATS, for just the second time in 10 matchups all-time. In their only other win, six Astros combined on a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2003.
Pitching against the only other team he has ever played for and working with rookie catcher Austin Romine for the first time, Pettitte (3-2) looked uncomfortable throughout. He frequently adjusted his uniform, at times pitched from the stretch with no one on base and even once had to wave several times to get Romine's attention when he wanted a new baseball.
"He hasn't been back there, and I felt like maybe I didn't get into the rhythm I wanted to," Pettitte said of Romine.
Pettitte got two quick outs to start the game but then gave up three straight hits, including an RBI single to Carlos Pena , then a walk and a two-run double by Corporan.
"Those are the hits that have been eluding us lately," Porter said.
Barnes hit his two-out, two-run double in the fourth to make it 5-0. The Astros chased Pettitte, who briskly walked off the field, after Ronny Cedeno doubled to put runners on second and third with one out.
Adam Warren came on and threw a wild pitch to score a run. Then when Corporan connected for his first of the year four pitches later, a two-run shot that right fielder Brennan Boesch barely moved on, a fan in a nearly silent Yankee Stadium shouted "mercy rule," eliciting laughter. Barnes drove in one more in the fifth with a single to make it 9-0.
Pettitte yielded his most hits since Sept. 24, 2010, against Boston. It's also the most runs since the Red Sox scored seven in that game.
"I've seen Andy since 1996, and I don't know if I've ever seen him not have his slider," manager Joe Girardi said. "That has been a signature pitch for him for a long time, and it just didn't have the bite today that we're used to seeing and that's kind of strange."
Vernon Wells had an RBI single on a sharp grounder to right field off Harrell in the sixth.
Corporan came up limping in the seventh trying to go from first to third on Jose Altuve 's single, but he stayed in the game and said it was just a cramp.
With a chance for a fifth hit in the ninth he grounded to shortstop but reached on Eduardo Nunez 's error.
"If I got a base hit in my last at-bat I'd just keep running," Corporan said of needing a triple to reach the cycle.
NOTES: Yankees INF Kevin Youkilis (back) sat for the eighth time in nine games. An MRI performed Monday came back negative and he will have an epidural. ... The Yankees grounded into a season-high four double plays. ... Astros RHP Brad Peacock (1-3) is being taken out of the starting rotation. Peacock gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings against the Red Sox on Saturday. Porter said he wants to put Peacock in a position to be successful. He also expects Peacock to return to the rotation. Porter did not announce a starter for Thursday against Detroit. ... Houston reliever Josh Fields , out since April 8 with a right forearm strain, should be ready for a rehabilitation assignment soon.