24 Sep

not happening

J.P. France, the rookie out of Mississippi State, wasn’t bad on Saturday night. But he wasn’t good enough, nor was his team, the Houston Astros, who lost a big game, 3-2, at home to last-place Kansas City. France yielded a run in the first and two more in the fifth (the last on a wild pitch), and the Astros’ late rally came up short. They fell 1.5 games behind surging Texas in the American League West and are clinging to the third wild card by a half-game over Seattle. “Stuff was great, I’m pleased with that outing,” France told The Associated Press. The right-hander, who won seven of eight starts in one stretch this summer, went five innings Saturday and took the loss, falling to 11-6 with a 3.83 ERA. With losses in four of its last five games — two in a row to the Royals at Minute Maid Park — Houston does seem to have a problem. … Meanwhile, at Miami, ex-MSU star Brandon Woodruff also tasted frustration. Going to the bump with a chance to clinch the National League Central title for Milwaukee, the Wheeler High product gave up a three-run homer in the first inning and another run in the fourth before departing after five. The Brewers rallied to tie and get Woodruff off the hook but lost 5-4 to a Marlins team still in the chase for a wild card berth. “You know what?,” Woodruff told mlb.com. “It’s one of them ‘baseball days.’ You move on.” Woodruff’s ERA moved up to 2.28 over 11 mostly sterling starts. P.S. In a relatively short time, Hurston Waldrep’s home address has changed from Hattiesburg to Gainesville, Fla., to North Augusta, S.C., to Rome, Ga., to Pearl to Lawrenceville, Ga., where the Southern Miss alum made his Triple-A debut on Saturday. Atlanta’s first-round draft pick in July — 24th overall out of Florida — pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings for the Gwinnett Stripers. In eight appearances at the four levels of the minors, including a three-game stint with the Double-A Mississippi Braves, the gas-throwing Waldrep has a 1.53 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. It would appear that the Braves have made another shrewd pick.

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