Wojciechowski struggles in big league debut

Astros prospect allows four runs on eight hits in four-plus innings

Wojciechowski struggles in big league debut

HOUSTON -- Asher Wojciechowski's Major League debut wasn't one that will tend to bring back fond memories.

Wojciechowski, who surprisingly won a spot in the Astros' rotation with a strong spring, couldn't survive the fifth inning in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Indians at Minute Maid Park in his first career appearance. He went four-plus innings and allowed four runs, two walks and eight hits, including two home runs.

"There's a lot of room for improvement," he said. "It felt good just to be out there and finally get this first one under my belt. There's definitely a lot of room for improvement and a lot to work on. I'm just excited to get to work tomorrow and start preparing for my next outing."

Wojciechowski -- the first Astros starting pitcher to make his debut at home since Troy Patton in 2007 -- threw 88 pitches and struggled with his fastball command and controlling his slider, though his changeup was solid.

"Just probably coming out of my mechanics a little bit today, just not feeling as comfortable as I have," said Wojciechowski, ranked by MLB.com as the Astros' No. 23 prospect. "I'm just going to have to find that consistency, find that consistent arm slot and get used to repeating my mechanics."

Michael Bourn doubled off Wojciechowski to start the game and wound up scoring on a sac fly. Wojciechowski allowed a leadoff double to Yan Gomes in the second, and he scored on a two-out single. Roberto Perez homered to left in the fourth, and Jose Ramirez led off the fifth with a homer.

Perez's solo homer

"He battled himself a little bit early, and they hit some mistakes," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It was his first outing, and he obviously wanted to get that under his belt and get on to the next one. They nicked at him early in the game and were able to put a few runs on the board, and he lost his arm slot a little bit. He was a little bit winded. Unfortunately, we didn't do anything to help him out. That was unfortunate for us as a team."

Wojciechowski said he was able to keep his emotions under control for the most part.

"It's a different feeling of a big league game and trying to control your nerves," he said. "You have to get used to that and take it one step at a time and not get ahead of myself. I made too many mistakes today, and it showed."

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.