Astros put up fight despite missing key bats

Astros put up fight despite missing key bats

MINNEAPOLIS -- Down seven runs to the Twins in the ninth inning, it would have been easy for the Astros to fold. They hadn't scored all day and it was the last game of a six-day, seven-game road trip. They didn't.

Instead, the Astros battled in the ninth inning for five runs. Though Houston's rally fell short, it made a 7-5 loss seem a lot closer than it actually was.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros don't go quietly in finale with Twins

Astros don't go quietly in finale with Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- After struggling throughout August, Ervin Santana returned to form to throw seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts and the Twins got home runs from Eduardo Nunez and Miguel Sano to earn a 7-5 win over the Astros on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

Santana's gem and the 7-0 lead the homers gave the Twins through eight innings helped Minnesota survive Houston's five-run ninth. With their eighth win in their last 10 games, the Twins kept pace with the Rangers, who also won Sunday to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead over Minnesota for the second American League Wild Card slot.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Keuchel goes for win No. 16 in opener against Mariners

Keuchel goes for win No. 16 in opener against Mariners

Dallas Keuchel hopes to further his cause for the American League Cy Young Award when he takes the mound Monday night for the Astros to open a three-game series against the Mariners in Houston. But more importantly, he aims to keep Houston atop the AL West.

Keuchel became the AL's first pitcher to reach 15 wins and hopes to become the first to No. 16 as he enters on a five-game streak of quality starts. He currently sits second in ERA, WHIP and innings in the AL, but takes on a Mariners offense that has scored 24 runs over its last five games.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa's injury postpones matchup vs. Twins' phenoms

Correa's injury postpones matchup vs. Twins' phenoms

MINNEAPOLIS -- The long-anticipated matchup between Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft and likely favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, and Twins outfielder Byron Buxton -- the No. 2 pick that year -- and third baseman Miguel Sano -- another Rookie of the Year candidate -- will have to wait until the Twins visit Houston next weekend.

Correa was out of the Astros' lineup with a sore left hamstring for the fourth consecutive game in Sunday's series finale against the Twins. He ran on Saturday and will again on Monday. Manager A.J. Hinch said Correa would stick to working out on a treadmill or stationary bike on Sunday.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fiers benefits from extra rest in no-no follow-up

Right-hander allows three hits over six-plus in win over Twins

Fiers benefits from extra rest in no-no follow-up

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Fiers tried out his best Johnny Vander Meer impression on Saturday, but it only lasted three innings.

Fiers, who tossed a no-hitter in his last start against the Dodgers on Aug. 21, held the Twins hitless until the fourth, when Joe Mauer ended the right-hander's attempt to become the second pitcher to throw two consecutive no-hitters during Saturday's 4-1 win over the Twins.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Another strong outing for Feliz; Reed extends streak

Another strong outing for Feliz; Reed extends streak

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- With Astros slugger George Springer resting after his first rehab start in eight weeks, a pair of the club's top prospects were poised to compete for center stage Sunday at Whataburger Field.

First baseman A.J. Reed and starting pitcher Michael Feliz, ranked as the Astros' No. 5 and No. 6 prospects, respectively, turned in another strong showing. Reed upped his team-high hitting streak to nine games and Feliz threw six innings of two-hit baseball, despite a no-decision in the Hooks' 2-1 victory over San Antonio (Padres) in front of 5,973 fans.

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Damen Clow is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer singles, 'shakes off cobwebs' in rehab assignment

Springer singles, 'shakes off cobwebs' in rehab assignment

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- George Springer returned to Double-A baseball to a hero's welcome Saturday night, going a quiet 1-for-4 with a run scored in a rehab assignment at Whataburger Field.

Wearing the home whites of the Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A Astros) for the first time since his midseason promotion in 2013 -- when he was named the Texas League Player of the Year and All-Star Game MVP -- the Houston outfielder received an ovation from the crowd of 6,077 as he walked to the plate in the first.

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Damen Clow is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros ride 3-run 4th in Fiers' strong encore

Astros ride 3-run 4th in Fiers' strong encore

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Fiers couldn't replicate the no-hitter from his previous outing, but tossed six-plus innings of three-hit ball to lead the Astros to a 4-1 win over the Twins on Saturday night at Target Field.

Fiers, who threw a 134-pitch no-hitter against the Dodgers on Aug. 21, was given extra rest and looked sharp against Minnesota. The right-hander allowed one run on three hits and three walks to improve to 2-0 with 2.25 ERA in five appearances with Houston since being traded from Milwaukee. But he left after taking a comebacker from Eddie Rosario off his hand in the seventh after hitting Trevor Plouffe with a pitch -- a non-factor in his exit, he said, as he was unhurt and already at 98 pitches.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros being careful with Correa's injury

Rookie shortstop misses third straight game with sore left hamstring

Astros being careful with Correa's injury

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Astros in the middle of a playoff race, playing without Carlos Correa for a few games isn't ideal. But that pales in comparison to losing him for even longer, prompting the team to be extra cautious with the rookie shortstop.

Correa was out of the lineup for his third consecutive game on Saturday with a sore left hamstring, but he had a chance to test it and run on the field pregame, which he didn't do Friday.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castro placed on DL, Stassi called up

Catcher out with quad strain suffered during Friday's loss to Twins

Castro placed on DL, Stassi called up

MINNEAPOLIS -- Catcher Max Stassi would have been on his way to rejoin the Astros early next week from Triple-A Fresno when rosters expanded. But with catcher Jason Castro suffering a right quad strain in Friday night's game, Stassi got the call a few days earlier. Stassi made his way to Minneapolis in time to suit up for Saturday's game against the Twins, though he wasn't in the starting lineup.

Castro has been getting treatment since Friday, but said his quad is still sore, which was to be expected. With an already short bench, placing him on the 15-day disabled list became the team's most logical option.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bregman collects four hits, Reed leads Minors in homers

Astros No. 1 prospect records his first four-hit game, No. 5 prospect grabs the Minor League home run lead

Bregman collects four hits, Reed leads Minors in homers

A.J. Reed is back in front.

The Astros' No. 5 prospect (No. 99 overall) crushed his 31st home run of the season during Double-A Corpus Christi's 17-6 blowout win over Midland. In the lineup as the designated hitter, he finished 4-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs, boosting his line to .352/.419/.576 since joining the Hooks on July 12.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kazmir solid, but Astros get blanked by Twins

Kazmir solid, but Astros get blanked by Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson tossed 5 1/3 innings to get his first win since July 12 while helping the Twins earn a 3-0 victory over the Astros on Friday night at Target Field.

The Twins have won seven of eight and remain a half-game behind the Rangers for the second American League Wild Card spot, while the Astros remain five games ahead of the Angels in the AL West.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kazmir's control problems prove costly in 4th

Kazmir's control problems prove costly in 4th

MINNEAPOLIS -- Astros starter Scott Kazmir retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced on Friday night. And then, the lefty unraveled for an inning.

Kazmir lost his control in the fourth and though he eventually regained it, the damage had been done in a 3-0 loss to the Twins.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lighting rod: Gomez's passion electric

Lighting rod: Gomez's passion electric

HOUSTON -- It's been nearly a month since the Astros pulled off a trade to acquire outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers from the Brewers, and both have found themselves making big headlines.

Fiers, of course, pitched the 11th no-hitter in Astros history on Friday, while Gomez -- who has struggled mightily at the plate since coming to Houston -- was in a firestorm of controversy Tuesday when the Yankees took exception to his flashy gestures and bat slamming, igniting a benches-clearing incident.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. 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' starters making strong statement

McHugh quiets Yanks, adds to rotation's stellar stretch

Astros' starters making strong statement

NEW YORK -- When Mike Fiers threw his no-hitter on Friday against the Dodgers in Houston, it was just another outing in an impressive run through the rotation for Astros starting pitchers -- a run that was continued by Collin McHugh on Wednesday.

McHugh picked up his 14th win by holding the Yankees two runs and five hits while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings, sending the Astros to a 6-2 victory, their seventh in their past nine games. Six different starters have taken the ball the past six games, and each has been terrific.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gattis (2 HRs), Astros win set in Bronx

Gattis (2 HRs), Astros win set in Bronx

NEW YORK -- Collin McHugh pitched well into the seventh inning and Evan Gattis homered twice as the Astros defeated the Yankees, 6-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, taking the rubber contest of a three-game set.

McHugh took advantage of a Yankees lineup that was outscored, 21-4, in the series, limiting New York to two runs and five hits, striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander snapped a three-start losing streak and earned his 14th victory as the Astros notched consecutive road victories for the first time since June 17-18 at Coors Field. Houston's won 10 of its past 14 games.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. 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

Richard Justice

Fiery Gomez only knows one speed

Fiery Gomez only knows one speed

This is one of the reasons the first-place Houston Astros wanted Carlos Gomez. Sure, they wanted the spectacular plays in center field. They wanted the power, the stolen bases and all the other stuff that has defined his nine seasons in the Major Leagues.

They also wanted Gomez's fire and emotion. They loved that part of his game, too. With some guys, you wonder how much they really love baseball. With Gomez, there's never a doubt. He takes every at-bat seriously. Doesn't matter if the score is 3-2 or 9-0.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros likely to add catcher, relievers Tuesday

Bulk of callups may come after Minor League playoffs

Astros likely to add catcher, relievers Tuesday

NEW YORK -- The Astros will add a couple of players to the fold when rosters can be expanded Tuesday, likely a third catcher, another left-handed reliever and a long reliever. The rest of the players the club wants to call up could have to wait until the Minor League playoffs are over.

Both Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi have clinched playoff spots, with Fresno winning the Pacific Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League with a 7-3 win over Iowa on Tuesday. Corpus Christi won the Texas League South Division first-half title.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Explosive' Astros have long-awaited outburst

'Explosive' Astros have long-awaited outburst

NEW YORK -- The Astros took out weeks of offensive frustration on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, scoring five times in the first inning en route to a 15-1 drubbing of the Yankees in which they scored as many runs as they had in their previous seven games combined.

It was the kind of offensive outburst the Astros haven't seen in quite some time. It was the most runs they've scored in a game since April 9, 2013, at Seattle, and the 14-run margin of victory was their largest since an 18-4 win over St. Louis on Aug. 3, 2010. Not bad for an offense that had a .201 batting average in its previous 19 games.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sarah's Take: Vibrant Astros no longer sleepers

Sarah's Take: Vibrant Astros no longer sleepers

Before Spring Training, very few thought the Houston Astros would be competitive in the American League West this season. In 2013, they lost 111 games, and in '14, they lost 92 games.

Yet here we are on Aug. 26, and the Astros have a five-game lead over the Texas Rangers. Most baseball fans want to know how this team is doing it.

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Sarah D. Morris can be reached at sarahmorris27@gmail.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros, Keuchel cruise vs. Yanks, even series

Astros, Keuchel cruise vs. Yanks, even series

NEW YORK -- The Astros supported Dallas Keuchel with their largest offensive showing of the season, as Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez all homered in a 15-1 drubbing of the Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Houston pounced on Ivan Nova for five runs in the first, a rally that was jump-started when Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was unable to snag a Colby Rasmus RBI triple on a sliding attempt. Gomez, Luis Valbuena and Gonzalez also drove in runs in the frame off Nova, who lasted four-plus innings and surrendered seven runs.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomez, Yanks have words after OF's flyout

Gomez, Yanks have words after OF's flyout

NEW YORK -- The total package was on display Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez was an offensive force, going 2-for-6 with an RBI double and a three-run homer, but he also was in the middle of a sixth-inning dust-up in which both benches briefly emptied.

Gomez, playing in only his 23rd game with the Astros after coming over in a trade with the Brewers, has a reputation for being an animated player who could take over games with his bat, and he was the man everybody in both clubhouses was talking about after Houston clubbed the Yankees, 15-1.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feldman continues Astros starters' strong run

Feldman continues Astros starters' strong run

NEW YORK -- The recent performance of their starting pitchers has kept the Astros in first place during the month of August while the offense continues its sluggish existence.

Scott Feldman was the latest starter to turn in a gem and not get rewarded with the win when he threw eight scoreless innings in Monday night's 1-0 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. New York pushed across a run in the ninth for a walk-off win.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feldman unrewarded as Astros fall in NY

Feldman unrewarded as Astros fall in NY

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field off Chad Qualls in the bottom of the ninth inning, driving home Brett Gardner with the only run of the game as the Yankees defeated the Astros, 1-0, on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

Nathan Eovaldi started for New York and blanked the Astros over eight innings of four-hit ball, striking out seven around three walks. The win was credited to left-hander Andrew Miller, who pitched around a leadoff hit in the ninth to complete the shutout, moving the Yankees back into a tie for first place in the American League East with the idle Blue Jays.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomez, Conger hook up for key DP vs. Yanks

Gomez, Conger hook up for key DP vs. Yanks

NEW YORK -- For all of Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez's struggles at the plate since he was traded to the Astros -- he's hitting .181 in 22 games -- he managed to make an impact Monday with a terrific throw to the plate to complete an inning-ending double play in the seventh.

With Scott Feldman of the Astros and Nathan Eovaldi of the Yankees locked in a scoreless battle, Gomez caught a fly ball off the bat of Chase Headley in left-center and threw a strike to catcher Hank Conger, who tagged out Brian McCann to end the inning. The Yankees eventually won, 1-0, with a run in the ninth.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No-hit masterpiece earns Fiers AL POW nod

No-hit masterpiece earns Fiers AL POW nod

Astros starter Mike Fiers has been named the American League Player of the Week after delivering the club's first individual no-hitter since 1993.

It was the 11th no-hitter in Astros history (the most recent coming in June 2003 when six pitchers combined for the feat) and first in Minute Maid Park history. Houston's last single-pitcher no-hitter came on Sept. 8, 1993, when Darryl Kile no-hit the Mets.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Joey Nowak contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lowrie exits as precaution with bruised thumb

Injury in same location as torn ligament that put Astros 3B on DL, but not expected to be an issue

Lowrie exits as precaution with bruised thumb

HOUSTON -- Prior to the start of the seventh inning in the Astros' 3-2 walk-off win in the 10th against the Dodgers, Houston third baseman Jed Lowrie exited with a right thumb contusion and was replaced by Luis Valbuena.

Lowrie, who fied out to right field in the home half of the sixth, came out to warm up for the seventh but summoned Astros head trainer Nate Lucero to third base. Manager A.J. Hinch soon joined, and Lowrie left the game shortly after.

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Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.