ANAHEIM -- For the first time since they traded closer Jose Veras to the Tigers on July 29, the Astros have narrowed the closing duties to rookies Josh Fields and Chia-Jen Lo. Manager Bo Porter had been employing a closer-by-committee approach until recently.
Fields picked up his second save of the season Wednesday at Oakland by tossing a scoreless 11th inning. Lo threw a scoreless ninth inning Friday to become the first Astros pitcher in 10 years to begin his career by making seven scoreless appearances.
"I'll fluctuate between Fields and Lo based on the workload previously leading up to that," Porter said. "It's a good option to have both of those guys pitching well."
Lo, who got his first save Tuesday in Oakland, was warming up to pitch the ninth inning of a two-run game Friday night before the Astros broke it open with a three-run homer by Chris Carter and a solo shot by Matt Dominguez. Still, Porter let Lo handle the ninth because he was warmed up.
"In that situation, you want to bring your closer in," he said. "Once you get the three-run homer, I made that decision. I'm not going to sit him back down and he's coming into the game."
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.