Peacock's hot streak ends in Anaheim

Peacock's hot streak ends in Anaheim

ANAHEIM -- Kaleb Cowart ripped a three-run double in the second and Jefry Marte banged a solo homer an inning later to send the Angels off and running to to a 7-1 win over the Astros on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

Angels right-hander Daniel Wright picked up his first Major League win by allowing one run, no walks and six hits in six innings. The run he allowed came in the second, when Carlos Correa walked, advanced to third on a pair of groundouts and scored on a Teoscar Hernandez ground-rule double.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

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 return to work after off-day elimination

Astros return to work after off-day elimination

ANAHEIM -- They were hanging out with friends or watching football on TV during the off-day when it became official: The Astros were eliminated from postseason contention with Baltimore's win on Thursday night, rendering the final three games of the season against the Angels void of any drama.

A season that began with World Series expectations ended without a trip to the postseason, which was certainly disappointing for second-year manager A.J. Hinch, the players and the coaching staff. A slow start, underperformance in the starting rotation and second-half injuries combined to derail the Astros' playoff hopes.

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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.

McHugh looks to grab momentum heading into offseason

McHugh looks to grab momentum heading into offseason

Tyler Skaggs will make his first start for the Angels in three weeks and the Astros will counter with Collin McHugh as the teams square off at Angel Stadium on Saturday in the penultimate game of the 2016 season.

The Astros want to finish the season on a high note after being eliminated from the American League Wild Card race during their off-day on Thursday.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Altuve up for Players Choice Awards' Player of the Year

Altuve up for Players Choice Awards' Player of the Year

ANAHEIM -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who's a virtual lock to win his second American League batting title in three years, was named on Friday as a finalist for 2016 Player of the Year in the Players Choice Awards.

Altuve is a finalist with Mookie Betts and David Ortiz of the Red Sox. The Players Choice Award winners will be announced exclusively on MLB Network on Nov. 9. Altuve entered Friday leading the AL in batting average (.337) and hits (212) while ranking tied for second in total bases (336), third in steals (28), WAR (7.6), and doubles (42), fourth in on-base percentage (.396) and fifth in OPS (.930).

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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

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.