O's win puts end to Astros' postseason push

O's win puts end to Astros' postseason push

The Astros will not be returning to the postseason in 2016.

Houston was officially eliminated from contention on Thursday night, when the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays, 4-0, at Rogers Centre. Baltimore moved into a tie with Toronto atop the American League Wild Card standings, and neither team can finish worse than 87-75.

Continue Reading

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Second batting title in reach for Altuve

Second batting title in reach for Altuve

HOUSTON -- There was much drama in the American League batting race two years ago, when Jose Altuve entered the final day with a slim lead over the Tigers' Victor Martinez and was originally going to be held out of the lineup for the Astros' regular-season finale at Citi Field against the Mets.

Then-interim manager Tom Lawless called Altuve into his office just prior to the start of the game, because the team decided Altuve should play. He went 2-for-4 in an 8-3 loss, but he finished with a .341 batting average to win the team's first batting title, and he set a club record with 225 hits.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Out of WC hunt, Astros close season vs. Halos

Out of WC hunt, Astros close season vs. Halos

With their postseason hopes dashed on Thursday, the Astros head to Anaheim for their final series of the regular season beginning on Friday against the Angels.

The Astros' elimination number was one entering Thursday, and Baltimore's 4-0 victory over Toronto knocked Houston out of American League Wild Card contention, a season after advancing to the AL Division Series as the Wild Card Game winner. The Orioles' victory Thursday night also eliminated last season's other Wild Card, the Yankees.

Continue Reading

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Astros' instructional league showcases outfield depth

Astros' instructional league showcases outfield depth

The Astros won't face a shortage of outfield options anytime soon. George Springer already is one of the cornerstones on the big league club. Jake Marisnick is a gifted defender, albeit with a light bat. Derek Fisher and Teoscar Hernandez are 20-20 threats on the verge of claiming full-time jobs in Houston.

There's another impressive wave of Astros outfielders behind that group, many of whom are on hand at the organization's instructional league camp in Kissimmee, Fla. Kyle Tucker, Daz Cameron, Gilberto Celestino, Ronnie Dawson, Stephen Wrenn and Myles Straw are part of a 54-player contingent that reported on Sept. 16 and will receive postseason instruction through Oct. 14.

Continue Reading

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros endure AL WC setback in home finale

Astros endure AL WC setback in home finale

HOUSTON -- Leave it to Mariners slugger Robinson Cano to deliver a staggering blow to the Astros' postseason hopes.

Cano launched a three-run homer in the first inning -- his ninth against Houston in 19 games this year -- off struggling starter Doug Fister, and Kyle Seager added a three-run homer in the eighth to send Seattle to a 12-4 rout on Wednesday afternoon in the final regular-season game of the year at Minute Maid Park.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Humble Brown center of attention in booth finale

Humble Brown center of attention in booth finale

HOUSTON -- At around 10:30 a.m. CT Wednesday morning, Astros bench coach Trey Hillman made his way around the clubhouse to inform players and personnel there would be a team meeting in 15 minutes.

A pep talk? An airing of the grievances? A reminder to stay focused the last four games of the regular season?

Continue Reading

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fister looks ahead after rough end to season

Five-run, 1 1/3-inning outing gives Astros righty 11.74 ERA in September

Fister looks ahead after rough end to season

HOUSTON -- For Doug Fister, Wednesday's 12-4 loss to the Mariners was the culmination of everything that's gone wrong for the veteran right-hander during the month of September.

In just 1 1/3 innings, Fister surrendered five runs on five hits to give Seattle a big lead that the postseason-hopeful Astros ultimately couldn't overcome in a game they simply couldn't afford to lose. It was by far Fister's shortest outing of the season, and it pushed his ERA for September to a whopping 11.74.

Continue Reading

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banged-up Bregman to tough it out down stretch

Rookie third baseman returns to lineup despite right hamstring injury

Banged-up Bregman to tough it out down stretch

HOUSTON -- Alex Bregman's right hamstring isn't fully healed, but the Astros are pushing him to play down the stretch anyway, with his impressive bat outweighing any concerns the club might have about his ability to run the bases.

Bregman missed 11 games with hamstring discomfort before returning as a pinch-hitter in Tuesday night's 8-4 win against the Mariners. But the rookie third baseman, who was in the lineup for Wednesday's game, didn't have to do any running after knocking his game-tying RBI single in the sixth -- catcher Max Stassi pinch-ran for him.

Continue Reading

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castro looks back on career with Astros

Wednesday's finale may be longest-tenured player's final home game with club

Castro looks back on career with Astros

HOUSTON -- While the Astros said goodbye to Tal's Hill and longtime television play-by-play announcer Bill Brown on Wednesday, the regular-season home finale could have also been the final home game for veteran catcher Jason Castro, who will be a free agent this offseason for the first time.

Castro, drafted in the first round out of Stanford in 2008, had played in 571 career games at catcher entering Wednesday, which ranks third in franchise history behind Brad Ausmus (1,243) and Alan Ashby (900). In 2013, he set single-season club records by a catcher in doubles, homers, runs scored, extra-base hits, slugging percentage, multihit games and OPS.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros stay in Wild Card mix with 6-run 6th

Astros stay in Wild Card mix with 6-run 6th

HOUSTON -- The Astros aren't ready to turn the page on 2016 just yet.

George Springer's two-run double with the bases loaded and Marwin Gonzalez's two-run single highlighted a six-run outburst in the sixth inning against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez that continued the Astros' postseason drive in an 8-4 win Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Springer's clutch hit among biggest of career year

Outfielder delivers go-ahead double in Astros' 6-run 6th

Springer's clutch hit among biggest of career year

HOUSTON -- Any time the hits come in bunches -- and when George Springer gets hot, they certainly can come in bunches -- he talks about slowing the game down and trying to get on base at the top of the batting order for the guys hitting behind him.

Springer has been on fire lately and getting on base, but in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 8-4 win over the Mariners at Minute Maid Park, he delivered some clutch RBIs that have been missing from his game recently.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bregman's surprising return sparks big rally

Astros rookie had been out since Sept. 14 with hamstring injury

Bregman's surprising return sparks big rally

HOUSTON -- In a surprising twist to the Astros' come-from-behind, 8-4 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night, Alex Bregman returned to action in the bottom of the sixth and made an immediate impact, hitting a game-tying RBI single off Felix Hernandez in his first Major League appearance as a pinch-hitter.

"That might've been more nerve-wracking than my first at-bat here," Bregman said. "I don't know. It felt weird, but it felt good at the end."

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros, fans bid farewell to Tal's Hill after '16

Minute Maid Park to undergo renovation of center-field area

Astros, fans bid farewell to Tal's Hill after '16

HOUSTON -- Tal Smith, the long-time Astros president and general manager who inspired Tal's Hill, will be at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday for the final regular-season game of the incline in center field. The Astros are removing Tal's Hill next season as part of a $15 million renovation of the center-field area to include more fan amenities.

Smith, who helped design the Astrodome in the early years of the franchise and later served as general manager and president of baseball operations, said team president Reid Ryan invited him to the game. It will be only his third appearance at Minute Maid Park since he was let go following the 2011 season. Smith said he also wanted to attend Bill Brown's final game as the Astros' primary television play-by-play voice.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros pay respects to longtime groundskeeper Richardson

Astros pay respects to longtime groundskeeper Richardson

HOUSTON -- The Astros held a moment of silence prior to Tuesday's game with the Mariners in memory of groundskeeper Mike Richardson, who died suddenly Monday night at Minute Maid Park. Fellow groundskeepers wore a black ribbons on their shirts in honor of Richardson.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Michael [Mike] Richardson -- one of our loyal and beloved groundskeepers," the team said in statement. "Mike had been a part of the Astros family for the past 15 seasons. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family members and many friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gurriel honors Fernandez, hangs No. 16 jersey

Gurriel honors Fernandez, hangs No. 16 jersey

HOUSTON -- Astros infielder Yulieski Gurriel, a Cuban who was dealing with the sudden death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, hung an Astros jersey with Fernandez's name and No. 16 in the dugout during Monday's game against the Mariners to honor his fellow countryman.

Gurriel, who knew Fernandez and whose younger brother, Lourdes, played with him, had the jersey hanging in his locker Monday before it was moved to the dugout for the game. Several players touched it on their way to the field.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve shows never-give-up drive after injury

Astros 2B stays in game, sparks late rally to force extras

Altuve shows never-give-up drive after injury

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve could've given up.

Down one run in the top of the sixth inning of Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Mariners, the All-Star second baseman and MVP candidate could've called it quits after his wrist bent awkwardly into the grass as he dove for a single.

Continue Reading

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bregman, Rodgers earn annual Minors honor

Bregman, Rodgers earn annual Minors honor

HOUSTON -- Infielder Alex Bregman and right-handed pitcher Brady Rodgers were named the Astros' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, on Monday. The players were set to be recognized in a pregame ceremony prior to Monday's game against Seattle.

Bregman, 22, hit .306 with 22 doubles, 20 homers, 61 RBIs and a .986 OPS in 80 games between Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi before making his Major League debut with the Astros in July. A Double-A Texas League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, Bregman was named MLBPipeline.com Hitter of the Year.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa, Altuve spark rally but Astros fall in 11th

Correa, Altuve spark rally but Astros fall in 11th

HOUSTON -- Robinson Cano continued his assault on Astros pitching, edging the Mariners closer in the American League Wild Card chase in the process while pushing Houston closer to elimination.

Cano clubbed two home runs, including a long solo shot down the right-field line off Luke Gregerson in the 11th inning, to send the Mariners to a key, 4-3 win over the Astros in the series opener Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Fernandez's death hits McCullers hard

Fernandez's death hits McCullers hard

HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. knew Jose Fernandez about as well as anyone in baseball. They were both star high school pitchers in Tampa, Fla., and quickly befriended each other shortly after Fernandez defected from Cuba, and they eventually became workout partners.

McCullers had even talked with Fernandez just a couple of weeks ago about a possible offseason fishing trip. They were two of the game's young stars on the rise. That's what made Sunday morning's news of the death of Fernandez, the Marlins' ace pitcher, in a Florida boating accident so hard to digest for McCullers, who held back emotions talking about his friend.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giles avoids injury after being struck by liner

Giles avoids injury after being struck by liner

HOUSTON -- Astros closer Ken Giles was available to pitch Sunday, one day after being struck on the right wrist by a line drive during batting practice prior to a game against the Angels. He was diagnosed with a right wrist contusion after X-rays came back negative.

Giles said Sunday he was relieved the injury wasn't worse, especially considering how he felt in the moments following the mishap. He was on the ground for several minutes and began feeling nauseous before being helped off the field.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Musgrove, HRs carry Astros over Halos

Musgrove, HRs carry Astros over Halos

HOUSTON -- The Astros need a strong finishing kick -- as well as a lot of help -- to reach the playoffs, but they took care of business Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Rookie starter Joe Musgrove held the Angels to one run and seven hits without walking a batter in seven innings, and the Astros got solo homers from Evan Gattis, Tony Kemp and Tyler White to snap a three-game losing streak against the Angels with a 4-1 win.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros' hopes dip despite Springer's 4-hit night

Astros' hopes dip despite Springer's 4-hit night

HOUSTON -- Coming off a successful West Coast road trip, the Astros hoped to continue their postseason charge at Minute Maid Park against the Angels, a team they had beaten 11 times in a row. The Angels instead have put a huge dent in Houston's playoff hopes.

The Angels rallied for four runs in the eighth inning against Houston's weary bullpen, tagging reliable right-hander Chris Devenski for three runs, to beat the Astros for the third night in a row, 10-4, at Minute Maid Park.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Angels on Saturday.

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

Bullpen shows signs of wear against Angels

Houston surrenders 9 runs in final 2 innings after solid start

Bullpen shows signs of wear against Angels

HOUSTON -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said the game played out exactly like he hoped it would. Starter Brad Peacock gave the Astros five solid innings to get the ball to Chris Devenski, who's been about as dominant as any relief pitcher in the American League.

But for the second night in a row, a bullpen that has endured an increased workload -- with a pitching rotation that's without two of its best arms in Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers -- had a late meltdown in Saturday night's 10-4 loss to the Angels at Minute Maid Park.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa playing through shoulder pain

Astros shortstop aggravated injury on diving attempt

Correa playing through shoulder pain

HOUSTON -- With only eight games remaining in the regular season and the Astros left with little margin for error if they're going to reach the postseason, there was no way shortstop Carlos Correa wasn't going to be in the lineup Saturday.

Correa, who aggravated a lingering left shoulder injury in the ninth inning of Friday's loss to the Angels, was in the lineup for Saturday's game. He's been dealing with left shoulder inflammation for a few weeks and playing through pain.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giles struck on wrist by line drive in BP

Astros' closer out with contusion after X-ray results

HOUSTON -- Astros closer Ken Giles was unavailable to pitch Saturday after being struck on the right wrist by a line drive during batting practice prior to a game against the Angels. He was diagnosed with a right wrist contusion after X-rays came up negative, the team said.

Giles was on the ground for several minutes along the right-field line before being carted off the field. Hinch said moments after Giles was struck he was already starting to bruise and was in pain. The injury comes one day after Giles blew a save against the Angels in a 10-6 loss to that damaged Houston's postseason hopes.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Howe reflects on his 7 trips to the postseason

Q&A: Howe reflects on his 7 trips to the postseason

Art Howe came out of the University of Wyoming figuring his dreams of becoming a professional athlete weren't going to come true. He returned home to Pittsburgh, went to work and played baseball in weekend leagues for the fun of it.

Then, at the age of 24, a Pirates scout saw enough of Howe to offer him a contract, and his dream came true.

Continue Reading

Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros lose lead, game, WC ground

Astros lose lead, game, WC ground

HOUSTON -- Leading, 6-4, in the top of the ninth, Ken Giles and the Astros surrendered six runs, letting the Angels rally for a 10-6 win at Minute Maid Park in a game the Astros needed to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Los Angeles completed the rally behind a massive offensive display that included four hits -- including a two-run homer by Yunel Escobar and a three-run double by Rafael Ortega -- as well as three walks and a stolen base. The Angels have now won three straight -- all against American League West opponents -- and five of their last seven.

Continue Reading

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Angels on Friday.

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

After night of defensive gems, Correa exits hurt

After night of defensive gems, Correa exits hurt

HOUSTON -- Carlos Correa's glovework took center stage for much of Friday night's 10-6 loss to the Angels, but the one play he didn't make -- and the pain that followed -- ended his night early and on a bitter note.

After the Angels stormed back to take a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, Correa attempted to make a diving grab on a bloop double by Rafael Ortega with an exit velocity of 63.6 mph, according to Statcast™, but he barely missed it and instead landed on his shoulder.

Continue Reading

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.