HOUSTON -- The Mariners scored a pair of unearned runs in the eighth inning, taking advantage of a throwing error by reliever Pat Neshek to break a tie, and then added three more runs in the ninth on a Logan Morrison homer to beat the Astros, 8-3, on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Shawn O'Malley, making his Mariners debut, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, including an RBI single in the eighth inning that broke a 3-3 tie. He scored Seattle's fifth run on a fielder's choice off the bat of pinch-hitter Seth Smith later in the inning. Morrison slammed a three-run homer in the ninth off Josh Fields for his second homer in as many nights.
HOUSTON -- Pat Neshek hadn't made an error in his nine-year Major League career when he delivered a 1-0 pitch to Jesus Sucre in the bottom of the eighth inning of a tie ballgame on Wednesday night.
Sucre laid down a sacrifice bunt just up the first-base line, and Neshek fielded and threw wildly to Jose Altuve covering at first, putting runners at first and second with nobody out and setting the stage for a bullpen collapse in the Mariners' 8-3 win.
HOUSTON -- Astros starting pitcher Scott Feldman hopes to miss only one start after he was forced to leave Tuesday's game against the Mariners with right shoulder discomfort. Feldman, who underwent an MRI on Wednesday and got an injection into the shoulder to calm the inflammation, will rest for two or three days before picking up a baseball.
Feldman said the MRI showed some irritation and inflammation but no structural damage, which was perhaps the best news possible. Feldman is 5-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 18 starts, but was terrific in August, posting a 1.33 ERA in four starts (27 innings).
Longtime Houston Chronicle writer Harry Shattuck will be inducted into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor in a pregame ceremony on Sept. 23.
Shattuck worked for the Chronicle for parts of four decades from 1970-2009. He began covering the Astros in 1970 and served as the Chronicle's beat writer from 1972-1985 before serving as the Chronicle's national baseball writer from 1985-88. He also served as the assistant sports editor (1989-93) and the travel editor (1993-09) before his retirement.
HOUSTON -- In what's become ritual, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel sat before reporters before Wednesday's game an hour removed from winning his third American League Pitcher of the Month honor, even though he sported the third-lowest August ERA of the Astros' surging rotation.
"I was looking at some of the August stats from some of the other guys, [Scott Feldman], [Collin McHugh], [Mike Fiers], and they were just as good, if not better, than me," Keuchel, who finished the month at 4-1 with a 1.94 ERA said. "I was very surprised."
HOUSTON -- Back from a 10-day stint at Triple-A Fresno, Preston Tucker joined the Astros on Wednesday as the club's fourth September callup, playing left field and batting seventh in his first game back in Houston.
Tucker went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the Astros' 8-3 loss to the Mariners.
McHugh aiming for 15th win when Twins visit Astros
By Chandler Rome
This time last year, both the Twins and Astros were battling to stay out of the cellar in their respective divisions. Flash forward 12 months and the two teams enter their second series in as many weekends with playoff implications.
Houston comes into the series two games ahead of the Rangers in the American League West, while the Twins are nipping at the heels of Texas for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Twins took two of three when they faced off at Target Field last weekend.
Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Martes rebounds in second Double-A start
Astros No. 7 prospect strikes out nine in six scoreless frames for Hooks
By Mike Rosenbaum
It has been quite the full-season debut for Francis Martes.
The Astros' No. 7 prospect dominated in his second Double-A start on Wednesday, striking out nine batters in six scoreless innings as Corpus Christi defeated Frisco, 5-0. He scattered five hits and three walks in the outing, throwing 57 of 99 pitches for strikes.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Springer feeling good after third rehab game
By Damen Clow
Special to MLB.com |
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Astros outfielder George Springer continued his rehab assignment Tuesday with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, for whom he has been a model of consistency.
For the fourth time in as many appearances this season in the league where he was the 2013 Player of the Year, Springer went 1-for-4 with a run in Tuesday's 10-2 win over Frisco (Rangers), the Hooks' franchise-record 84th win of the season.
HOUSTON -- Astros starter Scott Feldman is scheduled for an MRI exam on his right shoulder on Wednesday after he exited Tuesday's start against the Mariners -- an eventual 7-5 Astros loss -- with discomfort after just 2 2/3 innings.
Feldman, who battled control issues throughout his short stint, said the pain got worse gradually throughout his outing, and he finally summoned head trainer Nate Lucero and manager A.J. Hinch to the mound after delivering his 85th pitch.
HOUSTON -- Logan Morrison socked a two-run pinch-hit home run with two outs in the eighth inning off reliever Pat Neshek -- the third homer of the game for Seattle -- to break a tie and lead the Mariners to a 7-5 win over the Astros on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
"That was a lot of fun, especially here with the success they've had against us. Kind of exorcise the demons a little bit," said Morrison, whose Mariners had been outscored 57-26 while losing seven of eight previous games in Houston this season.
HOUSTON -- Three days after going on the disabled list with a strained right quad, Astros catcher Jason Castro said he was pleasantly surprised at his progress and began rehab treatments on the injury Tuesday.
Castro said his first few days have been spent getting the swelling down and keeping his muscles activated to set the base for the treatments -- including light exercises, light stretching and some range-of-motion work. He strained his quad in Saturday's 4-1 victory against Minnesota when he rounded first base on a double.
HOUSTON -- Home in Kokomo, Ind., after he was designated for assignment on July 21, Joe Thatcher fielded calls from a few Major League teams who wanted the ninth-year southpaw's services in their bullpen.
Using the unplanned summer at home to unwind and regroup, Thatcher instead accepted his assignment to the Astros' Triple-A club in Fresno, Calif.
HOUSTON -- A.J. Reed will be playing baseball in October, but not with the Astros.
Reed, who leads the Minor Leagues in home runs (33), RBIs (119), runs (109) and OPS (1.067), joins outfielder Derek Fisher and third baseman J.D. Davis to headline the group of players the Astros will send to the Arizona Fall League. Reed is the Astros' fifth-ranked prospect, Fisher is eighth and Davis is 12th.
HOUSTON -- There is nothing more automatic in baseball these days than Dallas Keuchel winning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros' All-Star left-hander remained unbeaten at home and became the American League's first 16-game winner by throwing seven strong innings and benefiting from three home runs to beat the Mariners, 8-3, on Monday night.
Keuchel (16-6) held the Mariners to six hits and one run -- a second-inning homer by Mark Trumbo -- to improve to 12-0 at Minute Maid Park this season. He also extended his club record by throwing at least six innings in his 38th consecutive start while throwing a season-high 121 pitches.
HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve had exited from the Astros' clubhouse following Monday's 8-3 win over the Mariners before he had a chance to talk to the media, which gave his teammates a chance to tell reporters how incredible he's been playing lately.
Altuve, the reigning Major League batting champion, capped off his terrific August by going 3-for-5 to extend his career-long on-base streak to 28 games, meaning he reached base in every game in the month. He finished August with 45 hits, which ties the club record for hits in the month (Jesus Alou, 1970).
HOUSTON -- The remains of Franklin Gutierrez's shattered bat flung straight in the air, coming dangerously close to landing on Dallas Keuchel, who was too busy navigating the bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth inning of a tie game to notice where the wood would land.
"If it stuck me in the neck, it was going to stick me in the neck," Keuchel said. "I was going to try to get the out."
HOUSTON -- After missing four consecutive games with a sore left hamstring, shortstop Carlos Correa returned to the Astros' starting lineup on Monday, batting in his usual three-hole for the series opener against the Mariners in Houston's 8-3 win.
After singling in the first and striking out in the third, Correa belted his 16th homer of the season, a two-run shot to left, for a 5-1 Astros lead in the fifth inning. His 16 homers are the second-most by a big league shortstop younger than 21 (Alex Rodriguez hit 26 before his 21st birthday).
HOUSTON -- The Astros made their first of what should be a few waves of roster moves after their 8-3 win over the Mariners on Monday night in advance of Tuesday's date to expand the rosters by calling up right-handed pitcher Josh Fields, infielder Jonathan Villar and selecting left-hander Joe Thatcher to the Major League roster.
Villar and Thatcher will join the club Tuesday from Triple-A Fresno, while Fields will be recalled from Double-A Corpus Christi. A corresponding roster move will be made Tuesday to make room for Thatcher on the 40-man roster.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Astros outfielder George Springer had his third straight 1-for-4 rehab performance with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in the club's 11-9 loss to the San Antonio Missions on Monday night.
Springer opened the game by drawing three straight low fastballs from San Antonio starter Dennis O'Grady, then took a called strike at the waist before grounding out hard to second base.
HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane presented pitcher Mike Fiers with a Breitling watch and a shadow box commemorating his Aug. 21 no-hitter prior to Monday's game against the Mariners at Minute Maid Park.
The shadow box included the lineup card that was posted in the dugout, a ticket stub from the game, the ball thrown for the final out and a pair of pictures of Fiers celebrating the final out of Houston's first no-hitter in 11 years.
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.
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.
A.J. Reed is at it again. The Astros first-base prospect homered three more times and drove in seven more runs last week at Double-A Corpus Christi, earning Prospect Team of the Week honors for the fourth time in 2015. That ties Reed with Kyle Schwarber for the most recognition this year.
Keuchel goes for win No. 16 in opener against Mariners
By Greg Garno
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.
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.
Correa's injury postpones matchup vs. Twins' phenoms
By Betsy Helfand
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.
Right-hander allows three hits over six-plus in win over Twins
By Betsy Helfand
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.
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
By Damen Clow
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.