04/27/2013 7:58 PM ET
Facing southpaw, Astros use right-handed-only lineup
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Manager Bo Porter stood near the lineup card in the visitors' clubhouse prior to Saturday's game as outfielder Brandon Barnes and first baseman Brandon Laird glanced to see their names in the second and third spots, respectively. Porter joked with both men, asking if that was all right with them.
Barnes hit second in the order for the first time this year and Laird hit third for the second time in four games as Porter trotted out a right-handed-only lineup against Boston lefty Felix Doubront.
"This guy's tough on lefties," Porter said.
The manager also wanted to keep his infield defense intact with Matt Dominguez at third, Marwin Gonzalez at shortstop, Jose Altuve at second and Laird at first, meaning he started Ronny Cedeno at designated hitter for the first time in his career.
"It's more about getting Ronny some at-bats and getting as many right-handed bats in the lineup as you can," Porter said.
Robbie Grossman was moved out of the leadoff spot and into the No. 9 hole, where he still batted in front of Altuve, who had been hitting second since Grossman was called up earlier this week.
Veras impressed with Cisnero's repertoire
BOSTON -- Veteran reliever Jose Veras has taken rookie and fellow Dominican Jose Cisnero under his wing. Veras was impressed with Cisnero this spring and isn't surprised the 24-year-old right-hander was able to throw 5 2/3 innings in two appearances in his debut.
"He's a good pitcher," Veras said. "You can see the way he's been throwing the ball is the way you have to pitch at this level, keep the ball down. You keep the ball down and you can get the job done. He keeps pitching and attacking the zone. You can see he looks comfortable on the mound."
Veras was intrigued about Cisnero after watching him throw this spring and asked about his background. Cisnero went a combined 13-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 28 combined starts last year for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Corpus Christi.
"As soon as I saw this guy in Spring Training, I knew he had good stuff," Veras said. "As soon as I saw him throw in the bullpen and then a couple of innings in the spring, I said, 'This guy can be good at this level.' When you have the talent he has and you keep the ball down the way he does, it's impressive to see a young kid control the ball like that."
Corporan looking for Peacock to pound strike zone
BOSTON -- Brad Peacock, who was the starting pitcher for Saturday's game against the Red Sox, was paired up with catcher Carlos Corporan for the first time this season. Corporan was looking forward to working with Peacock and helping him pound the strike zone and become more efficient.
"We're trying to stay in the middle of the plate and trying to get ahead," Corporan said. "When you get ahead, everything takes care of itself. The bad thing is when you fall behind. We're going to try to get more of the plate early in the count and try to throw first-pitch strikes."
Astros starters have been anything but efficient this year, thanks to too many deep counts. That has taken its toll on the bullpen, so the club is stressing to its starters worked more efficiently. Peacock had yet to pitch past the fifth inning in any of his first four starts.
"My goal is going to be find out the best pitch and work ahead and get right at those guys and get some outs," Corporan said. "He likes to attack hitters. He has a good fastball and a changeup he can throw at any time."
• On Saturdays this year, Houston-area Chevy dealers will host free public autograph sessions by current and former Astros players. Times and the players appearing will be announced prior to each autograph session.
• Owner Jim Crane watched the game from Fenway Park for the second day in a row. Crane has a house on nearby Nantucket Island, but he's dropped by several of the Astros' road games this year.