HOUSTON -- Bud Norris had some hiccups in the six scoreless innings he pitched in Houston's three-hitter Thursday night.
During those struggles the 26-year-old pitcher thought about recent advice he's received from veteran Houston ace Brett Myers."Giving up a [hit] is not the end of the world, but making sure that you can get out of that jam and leave that guy on base is the biggest part of it," Norris said of the one-pitch-at-a-time philosophy Myers preaches to him.Norris and the Houston bullpen combined on a three-hitter, Michael Bourn singled home the only run and the Astros beat the San Diego Padres 1-0.Norris (1-1) gave up two hits and struck out seven in six innings. His sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the sixth set up Bourn's RBI hit off Dustin Moseley (0-3)."The focus was big," Houston manager Brad Mills said of his starter's outing. "Even though he threw a lot of pitches he didn't let that affect him. He knew that he had to come back and make some pitches and he did."Relievers Fernando Abad, Mark Melancon and Brandon Lyon combined to close out the win. Lyon pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.Moseley allowed seven hits in 6 2/3 innings and once again was the victim of the Padres' poor run support. San Diego's three shutouts this season have all come in his starts. The last starter to get shut out in three consecutive starts to begin a season was Detroit's Kenny Rogers in 2008, according to the Elias Sports Bureau."It's frustrating, but you go out there and do your job, and you leave the rest up to the team, and hopefully guys pull through," Moseley said. "Through the first three it hasn't happened, but it's a long year. I mean, these guys can start scoring 10 a game for me."Padres manager Bud Black isn't worried about Moseley getting too discouraged by the lack of run support."Dustin's been around long enough to know that his job is to get outs, and over the long haul the wins will come," Black said.The game was scoreless when Humberto Quintero hit a leadoff single in the sixth. Norris bunted and Bourn singled, but Moseley was able to limit the damage by getting Carlos Lee on a grounder with two on.The Padres had several chances to score and stranded seven runners.Eric Patterson reached on catcher's interference against Quintero in the eighth and stole second. With runners at the corners, Orlando Hudson hit a grounder and Patterson was thrown out at the plate.Matt Downs and Quintero hit consecutive singles with two outs in the seventh and Moseley left after walking Melancon. It was an embarrassing first major league plate appearance for Melancon -- he thought he'd struck out and began to walk away, only to quickly realize a pitch had been ball three, rather than strike three.Cory Luebke took Bourn to a full count before striking him out to end that inning."It was a close pitch and I just assumed the umpire was going to ring me up because I'm a pitcher and had never had an at-bat before," Melancon said.Melancon said it took some time to get himself together to pitch the eighth inning after his first at-bat."It was actually really difficult," he said. "I threw eight warmup pitches and every one of my warmup pitches I had no idea where the ball was going ... when the guy got back in the box I was ready to go and calmed down from the [at-bat] and being on base which was like being on Mars for me."Mills didn't hesitate to leave Melancon in to hit because he's been his most consistent reliever this season and he needed him for the eighth inning. Melancon has pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in eight appearances this season."He's thrown the ball well and he's the guy we wanted out there in that situation," Mills said. "It was nice to see him go back out there and get through it. There were some ugly things there that put him in a situation, but at the same time he did a good job of working through them."Abad replaced Norris to start the seventh inning but he was relieved by Melancon after giving up a single to Cameron Maybin with one out. Jason Bartlett grounded into a double play to keep the Padres scoreless entering the eighth inning.Norris gave up a pair of singles with one out in the first inning before striking out Ryan Ludwick and Nick Hundley to escape the jam. He didn't allow another baserunner until consecutive walks with two out in the third inning but he retired Ludwick for the third out.He retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced before being replaced by Abad.
Houston reliever Wilton Lopez was experiencing elbow soreness and was expected to be examined by a doctor soon. ... Astros SS Clint Barmes, on the disabled list with a broken left hand, is scheduled to have X-rays on Monday to determine how his hand is healing.