Lyles pleased despite troubles in first inning

Lyles pleased despite troubles in first inning

Lyles pleased despite troubles in first inning
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The final pitching line for Astros starter Jordan Lyles wound up being a little messy Tuesday, but Lyles settled into a nice groove after a rough first inning against the Cardinals and gave the team a glimpse of what he's able to do.

Lyles, competing for a spot in the rotation, pitched five innings and allowed seven hits and four runs, with three runs and four hits coming in the first inning. He breezed through the second, third and fourth, throwing a total of 24 pitches in that span.

"I felt all right after the first inning," he said. "The first inning, I couldn't find the target and left balls out over the plate and they did a good job hitting them hard and not hitting them at people, unfortunately. Overall, I thought it was a good outing."

Astros manager Brad Mills said he'd like Lyles to throw more breaking pitches and do a better job at putting away hitters. Mills said 24 of Lyles' first 27 pitches were fastballs.

"When he's ahead in the count, his secondary pitches are too good and we'd like to see him use those a little bit more," Mills said.

Lyles is working on a new curveball grip, and he said he threw nine or 10 of them against the Cardinals.

"I'm still working on it, but I liked what I saw from it today and how it came out of my hand," he said.