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HOU@DET: Norris leaves the game with back spasms

Astros pitcher Bud Norris could have taken his regular turn in the rotation on Sunday in Pittsburgh after leaving a May 13 start against the Tigers with back spasms.

However, manager Bo Porter didn't want to take a chance, though, by pitching Norris in a National League park where he would have had to also swing the bat.

Instead, the 28-year-old right-hander will take the mound on Tuesday -- eight days since his last start -- in the second of a three-game series against the Royals.

"I went on the side of caution," Porter said. "And I think it was the best, because now he gets to pitch at home where the pitcher is not in the lineup and doesn't have to run the bases."

Norris has struggled some on the road this season, but he has been at his best at Minute Maid Park, going 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA. In his last home start on May 8 against the Angels, Norris went eight innings while surrendering just one run on nine hits.

"I think he's arguably been our best pitcher this season home and on the road," Porter said. "He's done a tremendous job for us, and he'll continue to pitch well this season."

His counterpart on Tuesday is also a fan of pitching in Houston. Kansas City's Wade Davis has made just one appearance at Minute Made Park as a big leaguer, and it came two seasons ago.

The 27-year-old right-hander came away with a win after allowing one run on five hits in seven innings. He also pitched for Nebraska in the Minute Maid College Classic while in college.

"It's a beautiful park, one of the best in the big leagues," Davis said. "I don't think about the wall [315 fence in left field]. When they hit to center field 380 feet, it isn't going to hurt you."

Davis earned the win in his last start on Wednesday, despite giving up four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Angels. He enters Tuesday's game at 3-3 with a 5.98 ERA.

Astros: Barnes leads rookies
Brandon Barnes didn't get a chance at the plate in Monday's 6-5 win against the Royals, but the 27-year-old center fielder enters Tuesday leading all rookies with a .317 average (minimum 50 plate appearances). Appearing in 28 games (17 starts), Barnes also has two home runs and nine RBIs.

Despite appearing in 43 games last season, Barnes is still considered a rookie because he had 105 plate appearances, with the maximum set at 130.

Royals: Perez exits series opener
The Royals might be without catcher Salvador Perez on Tuesday after he left Monday's game with discomfort in his right hip.

Perez ran into a post in front of the Astros dugout in the bottom of the fifth inning trying to catch a foul ball. He stayed in the game, but did not come back out when Houston came to bat in the sixth.

After going 1-for-3 before exiting the game, Perez is batting .308 with one home run and 14 RBIs.

Worth noting
• Monday marked the Royals' fourth straight one-run loss.

• With a 1-for-3 performance on Monday, Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to eight games.

• Since being seven games over .500 after a win on May 5, the Royals have dropped 11 of their last 14 games.

• Nine of Houston's 13 wins this season have come against right-handed starters. Comments