Writing's on the wall: Biggio visits plaque

Plaque to be displayed at Minute Maid Park on Aug. 22

Writing's on the wall: Biggio visits plaque

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- If delivering his acceptance speech before a crowd of 45,000 fans on Sunday after wasn't enough to allow the reality to sink in for Craig Biggio that he had reached the Baseball Hall of Fame, seeing his plaque hanging in the museum's plaque gallery did the trick.

Biggio and his family got a chance to see the bronze plaque hanging in the gallery for the first time Monday morning, posing for pictures and smiling from ear to ear while coming to the realization he was now immortalized among the game's greats.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Correa, Altuve, Springer among top 25-and-unders

Correa, Altuve, Springer among top 25-and-unders

If we had to pinpoint the one theme of this 2015 season that stands out above all others, it's unquestionably the impact and the infusion of youth on the Major League scene. Never was this more evident than on Monday night when 23-year-old Cubs rookie Kris Bryant cracked his first career walk-off homer into the Wrigley Field bleachers to give the Cubs a dramatic 9-8 win against the Rockies.

And just an hour or so before Bryant's blast landed, the mere suggestion that the Dodgers might consider trading 24-year-old Yasiel Puig turned social media upside down.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Biggio brings class, dignity to Hall induction

First Astro to be enshrined acknowledges many, becomes emotional when thanking late parents

Biggio brings class, dignity to Hall induction

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- During his 20-year playing career, former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio forged his way into the hearts of baseball fans in Houston with his hustle, his talent and the pride in which he wore the uniform and respected the game.

And on a warm Sunday afternoon before 45,000 fans -- many of whom were wearing orange Astros jerseys -- Biggio's success on the baseball field earned him the ultimate honor, induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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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.

Hinch calls Biggio an icon in Astros' history

Hinch calls Biggio an icon in Astros' history

KANSAS CITY -- If Craig Biggio's Hall of Fame speech had been earlier in the day, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he would have shut things down in the clubhouse so that everyone could have seen it live.

But by the time Biggio got to the podium on Sunday in Cooperstown, the Astros were in the bottom of the first inning in their series finale against the Royals. Time to take care of business on the field, as Biggio always did. The videotape will be there for the manager, coaches, players and support staff to savor when the time is right.

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

Astros reschedule Taylor Swift concert

Show moved to Sept. 9 to prevent potential conflict with playoffs

Astros reschedule Taylor Swift concert

The MLB playoffs have upstaged Taylor Swift. To prevent a conflict between any potential postseason games in Houston and the pop star's previously scheduled concert at Minute Maid Park, the Astros have rescheduled Swift's Oct. 13 show for Sept. 9.

"As a concert and special event venue, Minute Maid Park is committed to providing the best experience to not only Astros fans, but to the fans of all of the artists that perform at the ballpark," the Astros said in a release. "The new show date will ensure that fans of Taylor Swift will have every opportunity to see her perform at Minute Maid Park, as the Sept. 9 date does not conflict with any potential postseason baseball."

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McHugh gets nod in big matchup against Angels

McHugh gets nod in big matchup against Angels

After both clubs have an off-day Monday, the top two teams in the American League West will meet Tuesday when the Astros and Angels -- who lead the Astros by one game -- open a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros will give the ball to right-hander Collin McHugh in a rematch against Anaheim lefty C.J. Wilson. McHugh came out on top of their first matchup, in Anaheim on June 23, beating the Angels with eight innings of two-run baseball. In his six starts going back to that game, McHugh has a 2.61 ERA.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Hernandez named to Prospect Team of the Week

Reed goes from Royals to Reds in Cueto deal after impressive performance

Hernandez named to Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Players aren't just playing for their parent organization when on the field. Every game can be considered an audition for 29 other teams.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Biggio among quartet inducted into Hall

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Biggio take their places in Cooperstown

Biggio among quartet inducted into Hall

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- For anyone who has been there to make the comparison, Sunday's induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame was much like a World Baseball Classic contest with the defending-champion Dominican Republic participating.

Dominican flags were waving in clusters as the rhythmic sound of cymbals clanging and congas beating resounded throughout the grounds behind the Clark Sports Center.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Keuchel attributes his tough start to bad luck

Keuchel attributes his tough start to bad luck

KANSAS CITY -- The stat line didn't look good, but All-Star left-hander Dallas Keuchel insisted he wouldn't change much about Sunday's outing against the Royals.

Keuchel equaled a season high by surrendering five runs, all in the opening two innings. He allowed a season-high 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings in the Astros' 5-1 loss at Kauffman Stadium. But for a ground-ball pitcher who strives for weak contact, Keuchel goes beyond such numbers to assess his performances.

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

Keuchel, Astros hurt by Royals' four-run first

Keuchel, Astros hurt by Royals' four-run first

KANSAS CITY -- Omar Infante and Cheslor Cuthbert each came through with two-out, two-run hits in the first inning and Yordano Ventura delivered seven strong innings to lift the Royals to a 5-1 win over the Astros on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals (59-38) took two of three in the weekend series while scoring all five runs in the opening two innings against American League All-Star starter Dallas Keuchel, who came in with an AL-best 2.12 ERA. The five runs allowed equaled the highest total Keuchel has surrendered this season.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros fans drive 25 hours straight for HOF induction

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Astros fans drive 25 hours straight for HOF induction

Cooperstown is teeming with Astros fans who haven't let a little thing like distance deter them from watching the first and, so far, only Astro to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Thanks to four Astros fans who are here this weekend to salute Craig Biggio -- Jeffrey Fountain, Jennifer Fountain, Lauren Ward and Jason Plotkin -- we now know exactly how long it takes to drive from Houston to Cooperstown while making no overnight stops to sleep: 25 hours.

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They said it: Quotes from HOF quartet

A selection of memorable remarks made by Biggio, Smoltz, Johnson and Martinez during the induction ceremony

They said it: Quotes from HOF quartet

On Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, N.Y., Major League Baseball welcomed four new members into its National Baseball Hall of Fame ranks. The 2015 class -- featuring greats Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez-- was enshrined before thousands of fans at the Clark Sports Center.

Here's some of what they had to say at their induction ceremony.

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

Plaques, speeches and other must-see HOF moments

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Plaques, speeches and other must-see HOF moments

They say that every little kid dreams of being a big league ballplayer when he grows up. Of those kids, few get the opportunity to earn a living playing America's pastime and fewer still achieve the dream of hitting a walk-off home run or winning the World Series.

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Feldman gives Astros another quality outing

Feldman gives Astros another quality outing

KANSAS CITY -- The Astros lost a tough game on Saturday night, but the silver lining was the performance of veteran right-hander Scott Feldman.

In his second start since coming off the disabled list following knee surgery, Feldman battled the Royals and the heat for 7 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits and one run, but wound up with a no-decision as Kansas City went on to a 2-1 walk-off win in 10 innings.

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

We have no more words to describe Correa's highlights

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We have no more words to describe Correa's highlights

After Saturday night's game against the Royals, Carlos Correa had played only 40 Major League games. This is a problem. Because after only two score worth of ballgames, we have run out of adjectives to describe the Astros' rookie sensation. As a website devoted to writing things about baseball players, you can see why this is an issue. 

After all, here's a 20-year-old shortstop who has already hit eight home runs with a .293/.341/.529 slash line. Who also has a great glove and stands 6'4". We've aleady used baseball descriptors like young, patient, powerful, speedy, flexible, soft-handed and highlight-creating. 

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Hinch sets Astros' rotation with Kazmir in fold

Left-hander to make his home debut on Thursday against Angels

Hinch sets Astros' rotation with Kazmir in fold

KANSAS CITY -- With newcomer Scott Kazmir up and running, Astros manager A.J. Hinch has set his revised rotation for the immediate future.

After Dallas Keuchel makes his start on Sunday in the finale of the Royals series, Houston will enjoy an off-day on Monday. Then, Hinch plans to go with Collin McHugh on Tuesday and Lance McCullers on Wednesday before Kazmir make his home debut against the Angels on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

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

Correa's fine plays aren't enough to top Royals

Correa's fine plays aren't enough to top Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Alcides Escobar blooped a single to short right with two out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Royals a 2-1 walk-off win over the Astros on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Escobar flipped a flare just past the infield off Houston reliever Will Harris that fell just in front of right fielder Colby Rasmus, who was playing extremely shallow. The hit scored Paulo Orlando, who had singled and stolen second base.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Great Scott! Kazmir sizzles in K.C. heat

Left-hander tosses seven shutout innings in Astros debut

Great Scott! Kazmir sizzles in K.C. heat

KANSAS CITY -- If he were to be graded on his first impression, Scott Kazmir would certainly receive an "A" from his admiring new Astros' teammates.

One day after being acquired from Oakland, the stylish left-hander showed up at Kauffman Stadium, did an impromptu meet-and-greet and then proceeded to deliver seven scoreless innings on three hits in Houston's 4-0 victory over the Royals. The win helped the Astros move into a virtual tie for first place in the American League West with the Angels, who lost to the Rangers, 4-2, on Friday night.

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

Early surge backs Kazmir's stellar debut

Early surge backs Kazmir's stellar debut

KANSAS CITY -- Newly acquired left-hander Scott Kazmir made his Houston Astros debut a memorable one, tossing seven shutout innings in a 4-0 win over the Royals on a sweltering night (109-degree heat index) at Kauffman Stadium.

Kazmir was in command the whole way, allowing just three singles while walking one and striking out three, helping the Angels move into a virtual tie for first place in the American League West with the Angels, who lost to the Rangers, 4-2, on Friday night. The Astros (55-43) have one more win than the Angels (54-42), but also have one more loss, and sit two percentage points behind.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoes optioned to make room for Kazmir

Hoes optioned to make room for Kazmir

KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder L.J. Hoes was simply a victim of the numbers game Friday as the Astros optioned him to Triple-A Fresno in order to create a roster spot for newly acquired left-hander Scott Kazmir, who made his Houston debut with a start against the Royals.

Hoes hit .267 for Houston in eight games with four singles in 15 at-bats. The move enables manager A.J. Hinch to stay fully loaded with his bullpen.

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

Hernandez continues torrid stretch for Double-A Corpus Christi

Astros No. 7 prospect rips 2 homers and has swatted 5 jacks in his past 5 games for the Hooks

Hernandez continues torrid stretch for Double-A Corpus Christi

Double-A Corpus Christi coasted to a 9-3 win over Frisco thanks to three homers from top prospects.

Astros No. 7 Teoscar Hernandez did most of the damage, swatting two deep balls and finishing 2-for-5 with four RBIs. The outfielder has at least one homer in his past three games and five total in his past five contests. His .206 average is the highest it's been since July 5 and Hernandez now has 13 jacks and 33 RBIs on the year.

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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.

Homer from Altuve caps thrilling day for Astros

Club acquires Kazmir then sweeps Red Sox to move one back in AL West

Homer from Altuve caps thrilling day for Astros

HOUSTON -- Now fully dry of the celebratory ice-water bath he received both as he crossed home plate and as he was being interviewed postgame following the Astros' 5-4 win against the Red Sox on Thursday night, Jose Altuve only recalled one other walk-off home run of his career, coming in the Minor Leagues.

That's not what had him so excited following the back-and-forth affair he ended.

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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.

Astros acquire Kazmir, wins in debut

Oakland receives two Minor Leaguers in deal with Houston

Astros acquire Kazmir, wins in debut

HOUSTON -- Filling perhaps the most glaring need on a playoff-hopeful team, the Astros acquired left-hander Scott Kazmir from the A's on Thursday in exchange for Minor Leaguers Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham in a deal that pairs the Houston native with fellow lefty Dallas Keuchel at the top of what suddenly appears to be a premier rotation.

After free-agent negotiations between Kazmir and his hometown team were futile two years ago, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow kept tabs on the Cypress, Texas, resident as he eventually signed with the A's and exceeded even Luhnow's expectations.

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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.

Altuve's walk-off blast hands Astros a sweep

Altuve's walk-off blast hands Astros a sweep

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve hammered a 3-1 pitch from Craig Breslow over the wall in left for a walk-off homer with one out in the ninth, giving the Astros a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park. The home run was confirmed after replay review.

The homer gave the Astros, who acquired lefty Scott Kazmir from the A's earlier in the day, a three-game sweep, and sent the Red Sox home with an 0-7 road trip. Overall, Boston has lost eight in a row. The Astros are now one game behind the Angels in the American League West.

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

Kazmir trade excites Astros' clubhouse

Players happy to have lefty on their side after facing him during his time with A's

Kazmir trade excites Astros' clubhouse

HOUSTON -- Ascending the ranks at Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., Astros outfielder Preston Tucker often ventured to Tropicana Field to watch the Rays and Scott Kazmir.

"He was their ace," Tucker said Thursday. "I watched him as much as I could."

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

A's-Astros trade fills needs on both sides

A's-Astros trade fills needs on both sides

The Scott Kazmir trade made perfect sense for both clubs. The contending Astros got a veteran starting pitcher, while the Athletics netted two prospects -- catcher Jacob Nottingham and right-hander Daniel Mengden -- for the future.

Kazmir returns to his hometown to give Houston a serious rotation upgrade. Assuming the Astros hold on to their current playoff position, they could trot out All-Star Game starter Dallas Keuchel, Kazmir and rookie sensation Lance McCullers in their first three postseason games.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Kazmir trade comes at perfect time for Astros

Acquisition of Houston native should help surprising club make postseason push

Kazmir trade comes at perfect time for Astros

The Houston Astros just got better -- way better. Nice going, Jeff Luhnow. Very nice. If any team makes a more significant acquisition than left-hander Scott Kazmir, it'll have to be a bombshell. Yes, this is that significant.

Why? Well, there's the practical impact. The Astros now have two of the 10 best starting pitchers in the American League with All-Star Dallas Keuchel and Kazmir. Think that's stretching it? Let's check the leaderboard.

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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.

Setting the stage for Hall of Fame Induction Weekend

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Setting the stage for Hall of Fame Induction Weekend

Hey, guess what?

IT'S HALL OF FAME INDUCTION WEEKEND.

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