CHICAGO -- Astros manager Bo Porter called right-hander Jose Cisnero's two-inning effort in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Cubs the young reliever's graduation day.
Porter said Cisnero will more than likely serve as his go-to guy for tough situations for the near future.
"He's proven us right many times already," Porter said. "There's nothing that's going to stop us from putting him into any situation because he's responded quite well. You look at his demeanor on the mound, and it doesn't change. He continues to make quality pitch after quality pitch, and we have all the trust in the world and belief that he can get the job done."
Cisnero pitched his way into a jam on Saturday with the game tied at 3 in the eighth. Alfonso Soriano hit a one-out double down the left-field line and the 24-year-old Dominican promptly intentionally walked the next batter, Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo. Before delivering to Cubs center fielder Ryan Sweeney, Cisnero turned and fired to second baseman Ronny Cedeno on a pickoff attempt and Soriano was called out on a controversial play.
Cisnero allowed the next two batters to reach, but he induced a Darwin Barney popup to end the inning unscathed and preserve the tie long enough for the Astros to manufacture the winning run in the ninth.
Cisnero's season started with Triple-A Oklahoma City, but he was called up on April 22. After picking up the win on Saturday, he's now 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.
"Gradually, we've put him into some more intensified situations, and he's answered the bell every time," Porter said. "I think moving forward, he's gaining more confidence, we're gaining more confidence in him, and we believe that he'll be a vital part of the success of this organization for many years moving forward."
Krauss earns first Major League start
CHICAGO -- Astros right fielder Marc Krauss got to experience the heckling chants of Wrigley Field's bleacher bums as he made his first Major League start in Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, batting sixth.
"It's pretty awesome to see your name in the lineup in a big league game," Krauss said. "It's very exciting. I'm ready to go."
Krauss went 0-for-4 at the plate and made a throwing error in right field in the Astros' 14-6 loss.
Krauss had a chance to shake out the nerves the last two days. He pinch-hit in each of the first two games of the series for his first and second big league at-bats, going 0-for-2. Astros manager Bo Porter dropped a few hints that Krauss might start at some point during this series, but nothing was set in stone. With Chicago right-hander Jeff Samardzija on the mound, Porter said it was the right time to insert Krauss' left-handed bat in the lineup.
The rookie grew up an Indians fan in Deshler, Ohio, but visited Wrigley with his parents when he was young. His mom, dad, wife, two brothers, their wives and a host of friends made the trip to Chicago for the series. He excitedly texted his family to inform them of the good news after walking into the clubhouse and seeing his name in Sunday's lineup.
"It's a dream come true, to be honest," Krauss said. "It's one of the most iconic places you can think of. When you think Major League baseball, you think of Wrigley and Fenway, the history and tradition of these places. To be able to start here with the atmosphere they have, especially with these day games on the weekends, it's pretty awesome. It's pretty close to home, as well."
Krauss becomes the third Astro on the current roster to make his first start at Wrigley Field. Sunday's starter Jordan Lyles and Saturday's starter Bud Norris both had their first career outings within the friendly confines. Krauss was called up on Thursday after Houston placed Trevor Crowe on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.
"It's been great," Krauss said. "It's been a truly memorable experience and hopefully I'll have some more memories to remember after today."
• Houston center fielder Justin Maxwell was slotted in the leadoff spot for Sunday's game at Wrigley Field. Astros manager Bo Porter said regular leadoff man Brandon Barnes is receiving a routine day off. If both Maxwell and Barnes were in the lineup together, Maxwell would be slotted further down in an RBI slot and Barnes would be leading off.
"It's more of a lineup positioning thing and not wanting to move too many of the other parts," Porter said. "It's something we felt was good with the way [Maxwell] has been swinging the bat and allows us to keep the rest of the lineup construction the way it's been."
Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.