Astros' offense getting it done in 7th or later

Houston leads the Majors with 81 runs scored after the 6th inning

Astros' offense getting it done in 7th or later

DETROIT -- When the game gets late, the Astros get going, and it happened again Sunday against the Tigers.

Jason Castro's two-run single in the seventh and Marwin Gonzalez's RBI single in the eighth gave the Astros 81 runs scored in the seventh inning or later this year, which is the best in the Majors. The next closest team is Oakland with 70 runs.

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

In a pinch, Tucker's HRs land him in record book

Prospect becomes first player in Astros history to hit two pinch-hit home runs in one series

In a pinch, Tucker's HRs land him in record book

DETROIT -- It took Preston Tucker only 13 games to put himself in the Astros' record book.

In the sixth inning of Houston's 10-8 win over Detroit on Sunday, Tucker's three-run pinch-hit home run was his second of the four-game series, making him the first player in franchise history with two pinch-hit home runs in a single series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Both tied their respective games, and both are the first two home runs of his young Major League career.

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

Tucker, Castro power Astros past Tigers

Tucker, Castro power Astros past Tigers

DETROIT -- Preston Tucker's second game-tying homer in four days and Jason Castro's go-ahead two-run single powered six unanswered Astros runs off Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers' bullpen, salvaging a four-game series split for Houston with a 10-8 win in Sunday's finale at Comerica Park.

A game that began with a 36-minute, eight-run opening inning seemingly had settled down with the help of Sanchez, who struck out 11 of the 27 batters he faced. With a 7-3 lead in the sixth inning, however, Sanchez alternated hits and strikeouts -- including Evan Gattis' leadoff homer -- until Tucker pinch-hit for Jake Marisnick as the potential tying run and sent a drive deep to right.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

The Astros are a joy, and dangerous

The Astros are a joy, and dangerous

The Astros are an absolute joy to watch. That's surely one part of this season's sweetest and most improbable story. They have youth and energy, resilience and toughness. They have some confidence, too, growing day by day. Is there anything else?

Yes, there is. They're a simple team in a lot of ways. They hit home runs in bunches and play very good defense and hold onto leads when they get them. Isn't that a formula for success right there?

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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.

Hinch gives Altuve 'mental day' in Detroit finale

Second baseman sits for first time in 2015

Hinch gives Altuve 'mental day' in Detroit finale

DETROIT -- Jose Altuve was out of the Astros' lineup Sunday for the first time this season, but manager A.J. Hinch isn't worried about any kind of slump.

Over the last eight games, Altuve is 3-for-32 (.094) with one walk and one RBI on a sac fly. But Hinch thinks nothing of it.

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

Astros halt Tigers behind McCullers, triple play

Astros halt Tigers behind McCullers, triple play

DETROIT -- Lance McCullers earned his first Major League victory in the same city where his father earned his next-to-last Major League win 25 years ago. His six quality innings, helped by a fifth-inning triple play, allowed the Houston Astros to piece together a go-ahead rally in the sixth for a 3-2 win over the Tigers Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.

McCullers (1-0), whose father, Lance McCullers Sr., pitched for the Tigers in 1990, survived an Anthony Gose RBI double in the third inning and a James McCann double and score in the fifth to toss six innings of two-run ball on six hits with an intentional walk and six strikeouts. He avoided add-on runs in the fifth when Jonathan Villar, Jose Altuve and Chris Carter turned a triple play on an Ian Kinsler grounder with Miguel Cabrera on deck.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros' triple play the turning point vs. Tigers

Astros' triple play the turning point vs. Tigers

DETROIT -- When Jonathan Villar has children, the Astros' utility infielder is looking forward to telling them about the Saturday afternoon he started a triple play in a 3-2 win at Comerica Park.

He imagines describing the scene: runners on first and second in the fifth inning with no outs, and Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler at the plate. Maybe Villar will remember how, in the moment before Kinsler swung at the 2-1 offering from Lance McCullers, he was itching for a ground ball to be hit to him.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCullers earns first MLB win in second start

Astros' prospect goes six strong innings vs. tough Tigers lineup

McCullers earns first MLB win in second start

DETROIT -- Lance McCullers is making a case to stay with the Astros and not get sent back to the Minors.

In his second career Major League start, McCullers gave up two runs on six hits over six innings to pick up his first victory in a 3-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday.

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

Watch the Astros turn a perfect 5-4-3 triple play

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Watch the Astros turn a perfect 5-4-3 triple play

Sure, it seemed like a problem when Astros starter Lance McCullers gave up a double and single in the bottom of the fifth inning of Saturday's game against Detroit. It seemed even worse when the normally impeccable Jose Altuve committed his first error of the season, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

But the Astros just wanted to whet your appetite for the majesty to come.

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McHugh not happy after quality start

Righty allows three runs in seven innings, but gives up nine hits

McHugh not happy after quality start

DETROIT -- A quick glance at Collin McHugh's stat line Friday night shows a decent outing -- three earned runs over seven innings -- but the right-hander was not at all happy with his performance in the 6-2 loss to the Tigers.

McHugh allowed nine hits and one walk, giving up at least one hit in each inning of work. Asked about the night, McHugh was blunt.

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

One mistake costs McHugh, Astros vs. Tigers

One mistake costs McHugh, Astros vs. Tigers

DETROIT -- J.D. Martinez's three-run home run helped power Alfredo Simon through seven strong innings, sending the Tigers to their second straight win over the American League West-leading Astros -- and third straight overall -- with a 6-2 victory Friday night at Comerica Park.

Martinez's ninth home run of the year was a two-out shot that salvaged a third-inning scoring chance created by back-to-back singles from Jose Iglesias and Anthony Gose, the latter coming on a well-placed bunt to the right side. Astros starter Collin McHugh (5-2) overcame it to last seven innings, but Houston's high-power, low-average offense couldn't get him the lead back.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

McCullers has ability to close games

McCullers has ability to close games

Background
Right-hander Lance McCullers has made a rather quick rise through the Astros' organization. The club's No. 10 prospect was promoted to the big league club Monday after having spent parts of only four seasons in the Minors.

The son of former Major League relief pitcher Lance McCullers, the younger McCullers earned numerous honors and great recognition at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla. McCullers won't be 22 until October, and it's quite possible he could add strength to his 6-foot-2, 205-pound, highly athletic frame.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Drake makes a hit with charity softball event

Athletes, musicians gather to start Houston Appreciation Weekend

Drake makes a hit with charity softball event

HOUSTON -- Grammy Award-winning musician Drake is from Toronto, but if he had to name an unofficial second home, he may just pick Houston.

The rap star spent Memorial Day weekend in the Bayou City, celebrating his second annual Houston Appreciation Weekend. The jam-packed visit kicked off with him hosting a celebrity softball game at the University of Houston baseball field on Friday, benefiting the Astros Urban Youth Academy.

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

Tucker finds perfect time for first homer

Pinch-hitter goes deep off closer Soria to force extra innings in series opener

Tucker finds perfect time for first homer

DETROIT -- One swing of the bat gave the Houston Astros the life they needed to remain in Thursday's series opener against the Detroit Tigers. Ultimately, it wasn't enough to win the game as the Astros lost, 6-5, in 11 innings, but the team's ability to hit home runs in any moment has continued to give Houston an edge over the AL West, and much of baseball.

Preston Tucker's clutch home run in the ninth was the latest example of just what the Astros are capable of.

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

Astros fall in 11 following Tucker's heroics

Astros fall in 11 following Tucker's heroics

DETROIT -- Preston Tucker's first Major League home run sent the Astros into extra innings against the Tigers after a five-run deficit, but James McCann's second career homer was a walk-off shot for Detroit in the 11th, sending the Tigers to a 6-5 win Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.

The Astros came to town for a series-opening matinee leading the American League in home runs and strikeouts, and lived up to both. After 12 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings from reigning AL strikeout champion David Price, Houston rallied with five runs from the seventh inning on, capped by Tucker's pinch-hit homer off Joakim Soria. McCann answered with his first traditional home run, sending Tony Sipp's offering out to left leading off the bottom of the 11th. His only previous shot was an inside-the-park home run April 29 at Minnesota.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Catherine Slonksnis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Deduno prescribed rest for back strain

Reliever will throw bullpen session Friday or Saturday

Deduno prescribed rest for back strain

DETROIT -- Astros right-handed reliever Samuel Deduno was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strain in his right lower back on Monday. The club received positive news when Tuesday's MRI revealed inflammation near Deduno's right hip is not expected to require an extended stint on the disabled list.

Deduno will follow a rest-and-rehab plan for discomfort he has been experiencing since Spring Training. Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Deduno will throw a bullpen session on Friday or Saturday. Meanwhile, Deduno continues to throw soft toss.

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

Astros outslug A's to back unbeaten Keuchel

Astros outslug A's to back unbeaten Keuchel

HOUSTON -- The streaking Astros got a two-run homer by Evan Gattis, a two-run single by Chris Carter and another strong pitching performance by Dallas Keuchel to beat the A's, 6-1, on Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Keuchel (6-0) rebounded from a pair of subpar outings, at least by his standards, and didn't allow an earned run over seven innings. Houston has won seven of its past eight games to continue the best start in club history at 27-14.

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

Gattis rewards Astros' faith with power display

Decisive blast in finale vs. A's knots DH with Altuve for team lead in RBIs

Gattis rewards Astros' faith with power display

HOUSTON -- Had the roof been open Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park, there would have been no accurate estimate of how far Evan Gattis' no-doubt homer in the sixth inning would have traveled. The official count was 414 feet, though it all but went out of sight when the ball rocketed off his bat.

Those are the kinds of majestic blasts the Astros hope to see more of out of Gattis, the bare-knuckled designated hitter who changed the complexion of the 6-1 win over the A's by breaking a tie with his two-run homer off A's starter Jesse Hahn.

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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.

Keuchel returns to form, improves to 6-0

Win streak extended to eight as Astros' ace allows no earned runs over seven

Keuchel returns to form, improves to 6-0

HOUSTON -- After giving up eight runs and 16 hits in 12 2/3 innings in his previous two starts -- both wins -- Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel returned to his dominant form in the Astros' 6-1 win over the A's on Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Keuchel threw seven innings without allowing an earned run, and he scattered six hits to become the first Astros pitcher to start a season 6-0 since Roger Clemens was 9-0 in 2004. Keuchel extended his career-long winning streak to eight games, dating to 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.

Homer-happy Astros making opponents pay

Homer-happy Astros making opponents pay

HOUSTON -- If the Astros keep this up, they're going to need a nickname for their power-laden lineup. Minute Maid Mashers probably won't do them any justice, but Houston's penchant for the long ball has made its lineup a dangerous one.

The A's learned that firsthand Tuesday, when the Astros got two-run homers from Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus and a solo blast from Jason Castro in a 6-4 Houston win, as the Astros improved to 26-14 -- the best 40-game start in club history.

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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.

Astros power up to get best of Gray, A's

Astros power up to get best of Gray, A's

HOUSTON -- Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus hit two-run homers and Jason Castro added a solo shot to lead the first-place Astros to their sixth win in seven games with a 6-4 victory over the A's on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Astros starter Roberto Hernandez (2-3) worked six innings and allowed two runs and seven hits, giving him seven consecutive starts of at least six innings. He gave up an RBI double to Josh Reddick in the third and a solo homer to Max Muncy in the sixth that cut the lead to 3-2.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

George Springer opens techno-themed 'Club Astros'

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George Springer opens techno-themed 'Club Astros'

The Astros' clubhouse looked a little different after the team's win Tuesday night. Same room, same players moving around, same music playing over the sound system ... but, well, things were a little hazy.

Literally.

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Numbers suggest Astros' success is sustainable

Postseason a possibility for Houston despite low batting averages

Numbers suggest Astros' success is sustainable

Few offenses in baseball history have been more confounding than the 2015 Houston Astros. At this point, they're a potentially historic anomaly.

As we near the quarter mark of the baseball calendar, four Astros regulars have a batting average below .210. In the divisional era, only one team -- the 1988 Tigers -- has finished a season with at least two qualified players batting below .210. The last team with four players to do so? You'd have to go all the way back to the 1905 White Sox.

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

Correa, Santana combine for three homers in Grizzlies win

Astros' No. 1 prospect hits first Triple-A long ball; No. 3 prospect adds two for Fresno

Correa, Santana combine for three homers in Grizzlies win

Astros No. 1 prospect (No. 3 overall) Carlos Correa and No. 3 prospect (No. 67 overall) Domingo Santana combined for three home runs in a 12-2 Fresno victory over El Paso on Tuesday.

Correa swatted his first Triple-A homer since joining the Grizzlies one week ago, while Santana added two more. On the day, seven Grizzlies collected multiple hits, including Matt Dominguez, who went 5-for-5, and the red-hot Jon Singleton, who went 4-for-5. Singleton is coming off a week in which he drove in a whopping 23 runs on the strength of five home runs -- including three grand slams -- and was named the Pacific Coast League's Player of the Week.

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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.

McCullers: Debut achieved 'lifelong dream'

McCullers: Debut achieved 'lifelong dream'

HOUSTON -- In Lance McCullers' big league debut Monday, the Astros' No. 10 prospect certainly showed flashes of the electric stuff that prompted Houston to send McCullers to the big leagues without facing a hitter in Triple-A.

McCullers figures to have many more opportunites to showcase his skill as his career progresses after allowing one run, three walks and three hits while striking out five batters in 4 2/3 innings and taking a no-decision in the Astros' 2-1 loss to the A's 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.