Detecting a drop in velocity with his pitches early on, Astros rookie right-hander Paul Clemens knew he had to get creative in order to be effective Sunday afternoon.
He did just that, giving the Astros seven strong innings in a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Houston, a big league-worst 51-98, is on the verge of becoming the first major league team to reach triple figures in losses in three consecutive seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06. The Astros were 56-106 in 2011 and dropped to 55-107 last year, their final season in the National League.
If Clemens' progress is any indication, Houston has a reason to hope for improvement next season.
''It was impressive,'' Astros manager Bo Porter said of Clemens' outing. ''I felt like he did a tremendous job of using all of his pitches.''
The Astros' offense was another matter. The Astros left seven men on base and were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
Marc Krauss homered in the second for the Astros, his fourth of the ...