Astros closer Ryan Pressly held from Rays opener with knee issue

Manager Dusty Baker said Pressly should be available Wednesday despite lingering knee injury
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HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- When Phil Maton struck out Nelson Cruz to end the top half of the eighth inning Tuesday night, it seemed to be a given that closer Ryan Pressly would pitch the ninth.

The Astros were down 2-1 at the time, but Jose Altuve hit a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie it. The home run was Altuve's 31st of the season, and the 164th of his career, surpassing Cesar Cedeno for seventh in franchise history.

In the ninth, Maton was able to get Austin Meadows to lineout to first baseman Yuli Gurriel.

Then trouble came with Rays slugger Randy Arozarena. He sent Maton's first pitch, a hanging slider, to opposite right field to give Tampa another lead.

The Astros ultimately prevailed with back-to-back bases loaded walks in the ninth inning.

When asked after the game, Astros manager Dusty Baker said a knee issue kept Pressly out.

"It's not his arm. It's not his elbow, or nothing like that," Baker said. "He wasn't available because he was having some trouble with his knee that's bothered him in the past. But he should be all right (Wednesday)."

Pressly had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee two years ago, when he first became an All-Star reliever for the Astros.

This has been the first full season since the recovery, so it's worth keeping an eye on how Pressly looks down the stretch.

Brandon Scott manages digital content for SportsRadio 610. Follow him on Twitter @brandonkscott.