PITTSBURGH -- Bud Norris, who left his most recent start, Monday in Detroit, with lower back spasms, could have taken his normal turn in the rotation on Sunday, but Astros manager Bo Porter decided to give him two extra days and push him back until Tuesday at home against the Royals.
Lucas Harrell will start Sunday's game on his regular four days of rest, with lefty Dallas Keuchel pitching Monday's series opener against the Royals in Houston.
Porter said the decision had more to do with not wanting Norris to have to bat during Sunday's Interleague game at PNC Park and risk an injury while swinging the bat. It's also fair to point out Norris has pitched much better at home in his career.
"The back is actually fine," Porter said, "But just giving it more thought with us playing in Pittsburgh in a National League ballpark and with National League rules, it became more evident the more cautious thing to do is to let him pitch an American League game rather than have him hit, and run the risk of having to get out of the way of a pitch, or swing the bat and/or be on the bases."
Norris is 4-4 with a 4.32 ERA in nine starts this year, allowing 59 hits and 24 earned runs in 50 innings. He's 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA in five starts at Minute Maid Park and 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts away from home. In his career, he's 20-15 with a 3.39 ERA in 53 starts in Houston and 12-26 with a 5.54 ERA in 54 games (53 starts) on the road.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.