Astros call up red-hot Hoes, option Wojciechowski

Astros call up red-hot Hoes, option Wojciechowski

SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder L.J. Hoes, off a great start at Triple-A Fresno, has joined the Astros and will be in uniform for Monday night's game against the Padres at Petco Park. Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski was optioned to Triple-A.

Hoes was hitting .418 with a .458 on-base percentage and 12 RBIs in 15 games for the Grizzlies, including a five-hit game last week. He'll give the Astros an extra position player for their Interleague series against the Padres.

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

Gattis breaks out, matches career-high four RBIs

Designated hitter hits go-ahead double in Astros' win

Gattis breaks out, matches career-high four RBIs

OAKLAND -- Evan Gattis matched his career high with four RBIs in the Astros' 7-6 victory over the Athletics on Sunday, but that does not guarantee him a spot in Monday night's night lineup at San Diego.

Gattis is Houston's designated hitter, which will not be in use in the National League city.

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

Gattis' ninth-inning double secures Astros' sweep

Gattis' ninth-inning double secures Astros' sweep

OAKLAND -- Designated hitter Evan Gattis drove in four runs, including two in the ninth against closer Tyler Clippard, to guide the Astros to a series-sweeping 7-6 victory over the A's at the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

Clippard offered up a leadoff single to Jake Marisnick, and Jose Altuve reached on a fielder's choice groundball to A's third baseman Brett Lawrie, who instinctively threw to second, even though Marisnick was already there. Following the Astros' double steal, Clippard struck out George Springer for the first out and intentionally walked Jed Lowrie, setting up Gattis' liner on a neck-high fastball to center field that went over the head of Sam Fuld, who slightly stumbled as he chased after the drive.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Unbeaten McHugh faces Shields, Padres in series opener

Unbeaten McHugh faces Shields, Padres in series opener

The Padres and Astros face off on Monday night for the first Interleague series of the season for both clubs, a three-game set at Petco Park.

The Padres will send James Shields (2-0) to the mound to face Collin McHugh (3-0), as both pitchers look to remain undefeated. Shields did not factor in the decision in his last outing, allowing three runs over six innings in Colorado. McHugh got the win in Seattle after going seven innings and giving up three runs.

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

Marisnick returns to Astros' lineup

Fields also ready after 2015 debut, Oberholtzer working way back to Majors

Marisnick returns to Astros' lineup

OAKLAND -- Outfielder Jake Marisnick returned to the starting lineup after missing the first two games of the Astros' series with the A's with a sore right leg.

Right-hander Josh Fields made his 2015 debut on Saturday with a scoreless inning and is good to go, and left-hander Brett Oberholtzer, projected to be the club's fourth starter, is working his way back to the Majors.

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

Veteran Feldman appreciates Astros' energy, improvement

Righty notches strong outing vs. A's, enjoys club's early success

Veteran Feldman appreciates Astros' energy, improvement

OAKLAND -- Houston right-hander Scott Feldman notices a difference in the clubhouse from last year to this year, and the feeling is contagious.

Feldman took a shutout into the seventh inning of Saturday's 9-3 victory over the A's as the Astros improved to 10-7, their best start in nine years.

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

Altuve, Springer go deep as Astros secure series

Altuve, Springer go deep as Astros secure series

OAKLAND -- Second baseman Jose Altuve hit a three-run home run, and the Astros beat the A's a second straight day, 9-3, on Saturday afternoon to secure a series victory at the Coliseum.

Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie chipped in with two hits and as many RBIs against his former team, and right fielder George Springer hit a solo home run in the ninth, helping to provide plenty of support for starter Scott Feldman. The right-hander allowed three earned runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings for Houston, which improved to 10-7 -- the club's best start since the 2006 squad went 12-5 through the first 17 games.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fields continues success in 2015 debut

Righty returns from groin strain to pitch scoreless inning vs. A's

Fields continues success in 2015 debut

OAKLAND -- Astros right-hander Josh Fields made his season debut on Saturday, pitching one scoreless inning in Houston's 9-3 win over the A's.

Fields, who had been sidelined with a right groin strain since Spring Training, looked right at home.

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

Keuchel lowers ERA to 0.62 despite 'spotty' command

Not pleased about two walks, posts 9 scoreless

Keuchel lowers ERA to 0.62 despite 'spotty' command

OAKLAND -- Astros southpaw Dallas Keuchel might have started off Friday's wild 5-4 extra-inning win over the A's with nine scoreless innings, but he couldn't get his mind off of the two walks he issued.

Keuchel has developed a reputation of being something of a perfectionist on the mound, and he offered a glimpse of his high standards after the contest.

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

Astros hold off A's in 11 for crazy finish

Astros hold off A's in 11 for crazy finish

OAKLAND -- Left fielder Robbie Grossman notched a go-ahead, two-run single off of A's southpaw Eric O'Flaherty in a three-run 11th inning, helping the Astros claim a 5-4 series-opening victory at the Coliseum on Friday evening.

It was a wild ending to a game that didn't see its first run until the 10th inning, when Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run, two-out double off of A's reliever Dan Otero. The A's came right back in the bottom of the frame against a familiar face in right-hander Luke Gregerson, getting a game-tying, two-run double from Josh Reddick, who unsuccessfully tried racing home when the ball got away from the plate.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fields back in the bullpen mix for Astros

Right-hander joins dominant relief corps

Fields back in the bullpen mix for Astros

OAKLAND -- Reliever Josh Fields joined the Astros on Friday after recovering from a strained groin he sustained near the end of Spring Training. In a corresponding move, which was announced by the team Wednesday night, Houston optioned infielder Jonathan Villar to Triple-A Fresno.

Fields, who posted a 4.45 ERA in 54 2/3 innings for the Astros last season, allowed two runs in six innings of rehab work with Fresno. The right-hander threw 36 pitches while recording two scoreless innings on Monday in his final outing with the Grizzlies. It was a lengthy rehab assignment that lasted 10 days, but Fields said he's happy to be back with the big league club.

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

Astros' youth baseball initiatives go beyond the field

Urban Youth Academy, RBI program offer free instruction

Astros' youth baseball initiatives go beyond the field

HOUSTON -- The Astros have long had a commitment to youth baseball in the Houston area, something that's even blossomed in recent years with the opening of the Houston Astros Urban Youth Academy on the city's north side.

In addition to the Urban Youth Academy, Astros RBI is a free baseball and softball program funded by the Astros Foundation. What's more, the Astros Community Leaders program has renovated 18 youth fields in seven parks around the area in the past couple of years.

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

Hernandez puts up 'good effort,' but walk proves costly

Astros starter falls to 0-4 in last 6 starts vs. Seattle

Hernandez puts up 'good effort,' but walk proves costly

SEATTLE -- Astros starter Roberto Hernandez couldn't help but lament his two-out walk to Logan Morrison in the fourth inning Wednesday night.

Hernandez (0-2) had retired nine-of-10 batters, allowing a solo homer to Mike Zunino in the third, when an inning later he walked Morrison, who advanced to third on a Dustin Ackley single and scored on a Brad Miller single in the Mariners' 3-2 win over the Astros at Safeco Field.

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

Carter's first homer of season gives Astros hope

Carter's first homer of season gives Astros hope

SEATTLE -- Chris Carter came through with his first home run of the season in the seventh inning Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field.

Carter's homer off J.A. Happ came on the same date and in the same ballpark as his first home run a year ago, setting the stage for his 37-homer season that ranked second in the Majors. He has 12 career home runs against Seattle, his second most against any team.

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

Hernandez takes tough loss as M's snap Astros' win streak

Hernandez takes tough loss as M's snap Astros' win streak

SEATTLE -- Veteran southpaw J.A. Happ picked up his first victory for the Mariners with 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball as Seattle snapped the Astros' four-game winning streak with a 3-2 win on Wednesday at Safeco Field.

Happ has been strong in three outings as Seattle's fifth starter and finally got rewarded as he evened his record at 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA by scattering eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harris proving to be valuable addition to bullpen

Houston claimed righty off waivers Nov. 3 from D-backs

Harris proving to be valuable addition to bullpen

SEATTLE -- Much was made in the offseason about the big-ticket additions to the Astros bullpen by signing Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek and Joe Thatcher -- moves that have paid dividends considering the bullpen has been one of the best in baseball so far.

But the first move came when the Astros claimed right-hander Will Harris off waivers Nov. 3 from the D-backs. He came to spring camp as a long shot to make the team, but an injury to Josh Fields gave Harris an opportunity that he's taken advantage of. He has been scoreless in his first five appearances with the Astros and 21 in a row since last season.

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

Altuve's double caps rally as McHugh wins 10th straight

Altuve's double caps rally as McHugh wins 10th straight

SEATTLE -- Collin McHugh racked up his 10th straight victory for the Astros as Houston rallied for a 6-3 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night to remain in first place in the early American League West race.

McHugh allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings to improve to 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA on the season and 10-0 since his last loss in July of last season. The Astros (8-6) overcame a 3-1 deficit with five runs in the eighth, capped by Jose Altuve's three-run double. The first run was unearned after an error on Robinson Cano opened the inning.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him his Mariners Musings blog. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve finds redemption with bases loaded

Astros finally find a way to get clutch hits in eighth-inning rally

Altuve finds redemption with bases loaded

SEATTLE -- With one clutch swing of the bat Tuesday night, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve washed away two weeks' worth of frustration with the bases loaded.

After Jake Marisnick tied the game with a single in the eighth inning that was the Astros' first hit of the year with the bases loaded, Altuve followed with a bases-clearing double into the left-field corner to lead the Astros past the Mariners, 6-3, at Safeco Field.

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

McHugh had to battle to keep streak alive

Astros pitcher wins 10th straight, despite not having best stuff

McHugh had to battle to keep streak alive

SEATTLE -- He wasn't nearly as dominant as he was a year ago when he struck out 12 batters in 6 2/3 innings at Safeco Field in the game that changed his career, but Astros starter Collin McHugh battled through seven innings for his 10th consecutive win Tuesday night.

McHugh improved to 3-0 by holding the Mariners to three runs and seven hits in seven innings in the Astros' 6-3 come-from-behind win at Safeco Field. McHugh's 10-game win streak, which dates to last season, is the longest by an Astros pitcher since Wade Miller won a franchise-record 12 in a row in 2002.

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

Fields nears return, but Astros keep plan close to vest

Reliever recovering from strained groin at Triple-A Fresno

Fields nears return, but Astros keep plan close to vest

SEATTLE -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch admitted there's nothing really left for relief pitcher Josh Fields to show the club on his rehab stint at Triple-A Fresno, which indicates the right-hander could be activated as soon as this weekend in Oakland.

Fields, who strained his groin near the end of Spring Training, has made five rehab appearances at Fresno, including two scoreless innings Monday night. He threw in back-to-back games last week. Hinch texted Fields on Tuesday to see how he was doing.

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

Valbuena's big night gives Astros third straight win

Valbuena's big night gives Astros third straight win

SEATTLE -- Houston third baseman Luis Valbuena slugged two home runs, including a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning off Seattle reliever Danny Farquhar, and the Astros won their third straight with a 7-5 victory over the Mariners on Monday.

"We showed a lot of character tonight," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I love the way we battled back on both sides. We had a chance to implode when they had a lot of traffic on and we didn't. We tacked on a few runs to tie the game and got a little momentum, and obviously Valbuena came through with some big hits."

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Early success has Astros feeling bullish about their 'pen

Early success has Astros feeling bullish about their 'pen

SEATTLE -- Lefty Tony Sipp was with the Astros last season when they struggled to protect leads, which had pretty much been the case the previous two years as well. But a weakness has turned into a major strength for the Astros, whose bullpen did another excellent job in Monday's 7-5 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field.

With starter Asher Wojciechowski pulled after he allowed the first two batters in the fifth to reach base with the score tied, the bullpen held Seattle to one run and two hits in five innings to lower its season ERA to 2.06. Houston had the second-lowest bullpen ERA in the American League entering Monday.

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

Power display erases Valbuena's slow start

Power display erases Valbuena's slow start

SEATTLE -- Luis Valbuena continues to swing a hot stick for the Astros, blasting a pair of home runs in Monday's 7-5 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field to give him five home runs on the season -- all in the last seven games.

Valbuena, acquired in a trade with the Cubs, won the starting third-base job with a hot spring, and in the past week, he has overcome a slow start with an impressive display of power. He hit a solo shot in the first inning on Monday off Hisashi Iwakuma and broke a 5-5 tie with another solo blast in the eighth, this one off Danny Farquhar.

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

Hinch not worried about Carter's early struggles

Hinch not worried about Carter's early struggles

SEATTLE -- One of the big reasons the Astros rank last in the Major Leagues in runs scored 12 games into the season is because of the early struggles of first baseman Chris Carter, who finished second in the league in homers in 2014.

Carter, who was given the day off on Monday, is hitting .075 (three singles in 40 at-bats) with no home runs and 17 strikeouts. Last season he hit .227 with 37 homers and 88 RBIs but had several stretches in which he was lost at the plate.

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

Protective pad in cap gives McHugh peace of mind

Protective pad in cap gives McHugh peace of mind

SEATTLE -- You can hardly tell when he's on the mound, but right-hander Collin McHugh is one of the few pitchers in the Major Leagues who wears protective head gear. About halfway through last season, McHugh started wearing a protective pad inside his cap that can't be seen from the outside and protects the right side of his head if a ball is hit back at him.

The pad, a rectangular piece of Kevlar with some padding on the inside, was developed by SST Baseball, which is owned by McHugh's high school teammate, Matt Meier. It fits inside the cap and goes across the front panel.

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

Feldman rebounds with strong outing to beat Angels

Right-hander allows two runs over six innings in Sunday's win

Feldman rebounds with strong outing to beat Angels

HOUSTON -- The Astros finally won a game that wasn't started by Dallas Keuchel or Collin McHugh.

That's because veteran right-hander Scott Feldman rebounded from a shaky outing earlier in the week to hold the Angels to two runs and six hits in six innings in the Astros' 4-3 win in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

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