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DeFrancesco might change some roles in 'pen

HOUSTON -- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco gave his relief pitchers some words of encouragement prior to Friday's game and said he's ready to try some pitchers in different roles. The Astros blew a 4-0 lead in Thursday's loss, with the Giants scoring three in the fifth against starter Jordan Lyles and three in the seventh against struggling reliever Fernando Rodriguez.

"There's seven guys down there that are giving it everything they've got," DeFrancesco said. "One thing we're going to have to do is execute pitches. The stuff is good, but I think it's the command of each pitch that's giving us problems. Location of the fastball away doesn't wind up a fastball away, it winds up over the plate and up, and good hitters know how to hurt a baseball."

Rodriguez took his ninth relief loss of the season Thursday when he allowed five consecutive batters to reach, including one by intentional walk, after two outs in the seventh. Three of them scored.

"He's working on some things, and I know he definitely had an opportunity to step up and be a setup guy for us, and we'll continue to try to get him confidence, but it might be time to see what somebody else can do in that key role," DeFrancesco said. "When the game's on the line, we need somebody to step up. We talked about it [Thursday], and who that's going to be we'll find out tonight."

HOUSTON -- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco gave his relief pitchers some words of encouragement prior to Friday's game and said he's ready to try some pitchers in different roles. The Astros blew a 4-0 lead in Thursday's loss, with the Giants scoring three in the fifth against starter Jordan Lyles and three in the seventh against struggling reliever Fernando Rodriguez.

"There's seven guys down there that are giving it everything they've got," DeFrancesco said. "One thing we're going to have to do is execute pitches. The stuff is good, but I think it's the command of each pitch that's giving us problems. Location of the fastball away doesn't wind up a fastball away, it winds up over the plate and up, and good hitters know how to hurt a baseball."

Rodriguez took his ninth relief loss of the season Thursday when he allowed five consecutive batters to reach, including one by intentional walk, after two outs in the seventh. Three of them scored.

"He's working on some things, and I know he definitely had an opportunity to step up and be a setup guy for us, and we'll continue to try to get him confidence, but it might be time to see what somebody else can do in that key role," DeFrancesco said. "When the game's on the line, we need somebody to step up. We talked about it [Thursday], and who that's going to be we'll find out tonight."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.