Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers took the mound for the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys on Sunday. It was supposed to be a last-stop rehab start before a promotion to the big leagues. However, that may not be the case anymore.

McCullers pitched five innings for the Space Cowboys but was roughed up by the Round Rock Express. He gave up five runs on seven hits, walked three batters, and struck out five. Despite the rough outing, the Space Cowboys won 11-6.

Speaking with reporters following the game, McCullers was asked if he felt he needed one more start in Triple-A. The Astros pitcher feels he is ready to return to Houston.

“I don't want to,” McCullers said. “Everyone's been great to me. I can't say enough about the Sugar Land Space Cowboys and the staff they have here. We have great guys in our Triple-A organization. I feel like I'm healthy, and I want to get back. I want to pitch with the Astros.”

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Despite the ugly scoreline, McCullers says he is happy with how his rehab assignment has gone. He recognizes the decision regarding his major league future isn't in his hands, but he is encouraged.

“I’m encouraged with the way my shapes look, encouraged with the way I’ve been feeling, bouncing back,” McCullers said.

“I’m happy with how everything’s gone. I would like the result to be better, but I can’t do too much to control the result.”

McCullers hasn't pitched since the 2021 American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox. He suffered a right forearm injury that knocked him out the rest of the postseason, and into this season.