KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The first time on the mound in a spring game wasn't quite what 21-year-old Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles had in mind. He pitched two innings and allowed four hits, two runs, one walk and struck out one batter in a 10-5 loss to the Braves on Monday.
Lyles, battling for a spot in the rotation, endured a 27-pitch first inning that ultimately meant he pitched only two innings, instead of his scheduled three-inning stint. He allowed a one-out single in the second inning, but got two quick outs.
"I wasn't expecting too much with that first outing," Lyles said. "Today, the command wasn't there. That's to be expected the first time out facing live hitters. I made a couple of pitches to get a couple of ground balls, but they found holes. Hats off to them. It really came down to me falling behind guys and throwing too many pitches in that first inning."
Zach Duke, who's also pitching for a rotation spot, pitched three innings in relief and allowed three hits, one run and two walks in his debut in a Houston uniform.
"He kept getting himself in trouble and getting himself out of trouble, too," said Astros manager Brad Mills, who said Duke will get to start a game soon.