Late surge propels Altuve to start in ASG

Late surge propels Altuve to start in ASG

BOSTON -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will start for the American League in the All-Star Game on July 14 in Cincinnati after winning fan balloting at his position. He'll be the first Astros position player since Lance Berkman in 2008 to start the Midsummer Classic.

"I mean, it's pretty good," Altuve said. "I really appreciate everything the fans do for me and the whole organization, putting all the things to win the fan vote."

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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.

Bullpen unable to hold late lead in finale

Bullpen unable to hold late lead in finale

BOSTON -- Hanley Ramirez belted a two-run homer to left that just cleared the Green Monster with one out in the seventh that led the Red Sox to a comeback 5-4 victory over the Astros in the rubber match of a three-game series on Sunday at Fenway Park.

David Ortiz, who has struggled mightily against lefties this season, worked a key walk against Tony Sipp to set up Ramirez's homer. It was Ortiz's second walk against a lefty this season. Ramirez's homer erased the bitter taste that occurred in the top of the seventh, when Alexi Ogando surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to Carlos Correa and then a go-ahead solo shot by Evan Gattis.

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Ian Browne 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.

Marisnick makes stellar grab on the run

Marisnick makes stellar grab on the run

BOSTON -- Welcome back, Jake Marisnick.

Playing his first game since being activated from the 15-day disabled list, the center fielder made one of the best catches of the season in the Astros' eventual 5-4 loss when he followed a long run with a leaping grab while crashing into the Green Monster for the final out of the sixth inning to rob Brock Holt of extra bases.

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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 cognizant of young starters' workloads

Astros cognizant of young starters' workloads

BOSTON -- As the season progresses, the Astros are going to be keeping close tabs on the workload of their starting pitchers, especially rookie right-handers Lance McCullers Jr. and Vincent Velasquez. They're both on pace to shatter their career-high marks for innings pitched.

The Astros are poised to be in the playoff race into September, so they won't be in a position to shut either one down and will have to get creative. General manager Jeff Luhnow said one option could be going to a six-man rotation once rosters are expanded in September.

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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.

Keuchel, Carrasco to duel in battle of 10-game winners

Keuchel, Carrasco to duel in battle of 10-game winners

A pair of 10-game winners will square off in the opener of a four-game series Monday in Cleveland when Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (10-3, 2.03 ERA) faces Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (10-6, 3.88 ERA) at Progressive Field.

Keuchel has not allowed a run in his last 17 innings, which is the longest streak by an Astros player this year. He's gone at least six innings in 28 consecutive starts, dating to last year, and leads the Majors with 124 1/3 innings pitched.

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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.

Best highlights for the AL All-Star starting lineup

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Best highlights for the AL All-Star starting lineup

If you thought the Fourth of July was full of fireworks, just wait until July 14 in Cincinnati when baseball's biggest stars converge at Great American Ballpark for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. 

And with home-field advantage in the Fall Classic on the line, you can be sure that the Junior Circuit is going to send the best of their best to Cincy. We're talking guys on pace for 50 homers, guys on pace 50 steals, rookies, veterans ... the best of the best regardless of how they get it done.

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Crane: Astros trying to trade for starter

Crane: Astros trying to trade for starter

BOSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane, who's in town for the team's series against the Red Sox, said in an exclusive interview Saturday with MLB.com the club is prepared to pull the trigger on a trade to land a starting pitcher if they can find the right deal. The Astros are likely to acquire a starter, which is not surprising, and Crane said the club is working hard at doing so.

Among the starting pitchers the Astros have checked in on are Scott Kazmir, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Jeff Samardzija. Houston's deep farm system puts it in prime position to make a run at landing a starter to bolster a rotation anchored by Dallas Keuchel.

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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.

Offense struggles against Buchholz

Offense struggles against Buchholz

BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz continued his mastery of the Houston Astros -- and his recent dominance against everyone -- by firing a gem on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park, leading the Red Sox to a 6-1 victory.

The righty went the distance for his ninth career complete game and was one strike away from a shutout.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. 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.

Singleton slips, knocks ball to McHugh for out

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Singleton slips, knocks ball to McHugh for out

When Mike Napoli hit a soft grounder to the right side during the Astros-Red Sox game on Sunday, Houston first baseman probably figured he'd have a pretty routine play to make. Little did he know, the turf monster had other ideas, forcing him to, uh, improvise? Sure, let's go with that. 

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McHugh struggles with mechanics in loss

McHugh struggles with mechanics in loss

BOSTON -- Collin McHugh's fastball command was sporadic, especially early. That forced the Astros right-hander to rely more on his cutter and his curveball, and it turned out to be bad news against an opportunistic Red Sox lineup.

McHugh's three-game winning streak came to an end Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park when he was hit for four runs (three earned) and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-1 loss that snapped the Astros' five-game winning streak.

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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.

Marisnick set to return to Astros' roster

Marisnick set to return to Astros' roster

BOSTON -- The ailing Astros took another step towards getting healthier, as manager A.J. Hinch announced after Saturday's 6-1 loss to the Red Sox that outfielder Jake Marisnick would be activated from the 15-day disabled list and be available Sunday.

Marisnick, who has been out with a strained left hamstring, played three rehab games for Triple-A Fresno, going 2-for-12. He played nine innings Friday night in El Paso and had a three-run triple and a pair of walks, so his leg appears to be in good shape.

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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.

Correa's big hits help Astros outslug Boston

Correa's big hits help Astros outslug Boston

BOSTON -- Carlos Correa had a memorable Fenway Park debut, belting three hits, including an RBI single that put the Astros ahead for good in a 12-8 victory over the Red Sox in 10 innings on Friday night.

It was Correa's solo shot over the Green Monster against Craig Breslow in the eighth that gave Houston an 8-7 lead. But David Ortiz answered with a double that took a funny bounce off the Monster in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Xander Bogaerts from first.

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Ian Browne 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 and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carter makes heads-up throw ... for 4th out

Carter makes heads-up throw ... for 4th out

BOSTON -- Three outs is enough to escape an inning in baseball. Astros first baseman Chris Carter made sure his team had one extra in the seventh of Friday night's 12-8 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

With runners at first and third base and two outs, Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan grounded out to third base to end the inning, but Carter threw across the diamond as Alejandro De Aza was heading to third. Astros shortstop Carlos Correa tagged out a sliding De Aza, and third-base umpire Laz Diaz signaled for an out as De Aza asked how many outs there were in the inning.

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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.

Santana's own swipe can help fans steal a home

Quicken Loans sweepstakes offers chance to win mortgage payment valued at up to $1,500

Santana's own swipe can help fans steal a home

Aggressive baserunning by the Astros on Friday capped a four-run 10th inning in a 12-8 win over the Red Sox, but it could pay even greater dividends for a lucky fan, thanks to the Quicken Loans "Steal A Home" program.

• Quicken Loans: Steal a Home Sweepstakes

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

Correa displays clutch gene in Fenway debut

Correa displays clutch gene in Fenway debut

BOSTON -- There's not much 20-year-old rookie phenom Carlos Correa can do anymore to surprise anyone, especially Astros manager A.J. Hinch and his teammates.

Correa continues to try to push the barrier of remarkable feats, though, and did so again in Friday's 12-8 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park when he bashed a temporary go-ahead home run in the eighth inning before driving in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the 10th.

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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.

Harris' big outs help elevate Astros over Red Sox

Houston reliever has notched scoreless outing in 8 of last 9 appearances

Harris' big outs help elevate Astros over Red Sox

BOSTON -- On a day when the Astros' stellar bullpen was anything but, right-hander Will Harris came through with three of the biggest outs in a 12-8, 10-inning win over the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park.

Harris came into the game in about as much as a pressure-cooker situation as you could get. The Red Sox had the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh inning, with the Astros clinging to a tenuous 7-6 lead in a back-and-forth game. He limited the damage to one run in an inning where it could have been much worse.

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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.

FBI concludes investigation on Astros breach

Organization reportedly recommends charges against at least one Cards employee

FBI concludes investigation on Astros breach

ST. LOUIS -- The FBI's investigation into an unauthorized entry into the Houston Astros' database has concluded, and federal investigators have recommended that at least one Cardinals employee be charged, CNN reported on Friday. The report did not identify that employee.

The Cardinals have been under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for several months regarding the matter. According to The New York Times, which broke the story on June 16, evidence was found that at least one Cardinals employee illegally accessed a database that contained internal discussions of trades and scouting reports.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injured Springer ready to support teammates

Injured Springer ready to support teammates

BOSTON -- Astros outfielder George Springer walked from the clubhouse to the field about two hours prior to Friday's game at Fenway Park while singing in unison with teammate Jose Altuve. Springer is out for six weeks with a fractured right wrist, but his large presence on the team remains.

Wearing a soft cast that bore the signature of several of his teammates and manager A.J. Hinch, Springer spoke about the disappointment of not being able to play, noting that it's important he travels with the club to show his support for his teammates.

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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.

Presley joins banged-up Astros for depth

Outfielders Marisnick, Rasmus nearing conclusion of rehab stints

Presley joins banged-up Astros for depth

BOSTON -- The Astros' outfield depth is being put to the test with two starters -- Jake Marisnick and George Springer -- on the disabled list and part-time starter Colby Rasmus having spent three days in the hospital because a skin infection caused by some sort of bite.

Veteran outfielder Alex Presley joined the team Friday and started in center field after spending the entire first three months of the season at Triple-A Fresno. Marisnick, who was scheduled to play his third and final rehab game for Fresno on Friday, is expected to join the club Sunday in Boston. Rasmus was cleared to play Friday and could start Saturday.

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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.

Hot start nets Correa monthly AL rookie honor

Astros shortstop debuted June 8, batted .287 with 5 HRs, 15 RBIs

Hot start nets Correa monthly AL rookie honor

HOUSTON -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa on Thursday was named American League Rookie of the Month for June.

Correa, who made his Major League debut on June 8, hit .287 with nine doubles, five home runs, 15 RBIs, four stolen bases and a .543 slugging percentage in his 21 games in the month. Among AL rookies in June, Correa ranked first in OPS (.852), doubles, RBIs and in slugging percentage. Additionally, he ranked tied for first in home runs and third in hits and in batting average.

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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.

Springer forced to DL with right wrist fracture

Springer forced to DL with right wrist fracture

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed George Springer on the 15-day DL with a right wrist fracture Thursday, one day after he took a pitch off his wrist and left the Astros' 6-5 win over the Royals in the sixth inning.

In a corresponding move, Houston recalled Alex Presley from Triple-A Fresno, where he was hitting .308 with 74 hits and 35 RBIs in 64 games. The Astros also transferred pitcher Brad Peacock to the 60-day DL.

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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 sign int'l OF prospect Celestino

Sources say Dominican star's bonus is for $2.25 million, plus $275,000 for college

Astros sign int'l OF prospect Celestino

The Astros have signed teenage outfielder Gilberto Celestino of the Dominican Republic. The package is worth $2.5 million, according to industry sources.

The deal for Celestino, ranked No. 7 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, includes a $2.25 million signing bonus and $275,000 for college.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve-led Astros rally to get sweep of Royals

Altuve-led Astros rally to get sweep of Royals

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve made his final case for an All-Star starting spot on Wednesday night, and it was a memorable one.

Altuve went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base while scoring the decisive run on a bang-bang play at the plate as the Astros swept the Royals with a 6-5 win at Minute Maid Park.

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

Astros sign second-rounder Eshelman

Astros sign second-rounder Eshelman

HOUSTON -- Undrafted out of high school, second-round pick Thomas Eshelman, who was selected No. 46 overall in this year's Draft, sat in the Astros' dugout on Wednesday unable to adequately articulate how his rise to prominence has come to be.

"It's a blur," Eshelman said. "It's just very humbling to be out there watching a bullpen with the big league pitching coach and watching two big league starters go out and do their business. Very fun to be a part of."

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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

Richard Justice

Altuve, Correa forming combo for the ages

Altuve, Correa forming combo for the ages

HOUSTON -- In less than a month, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa have become more than just teammates. They have adjoining lockers. They have lunch together and sometimes dinner. They talk constantly.

"They're forming that bond that you hope a second baseman and shortstop develop that can last a long time," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

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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.

Straily set to make Astros debut at Fenway

Right-hander went 6-6 with a 4.06 ERA at Triple-A Fresno

Straily set to make Astros debut at Fenway

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Dan Straily will be recalled from Triple-A Fresno and make his first start of 2015 on Friday in the series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said on Wednesday.

Straily replaces recently demoted Brett Oberholtzer in the rotation.

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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.

Keuchel fires 8 scoreless as Astros blank Royals

Keuchel fires 8 scoreless as Astros blank Royals

HOUSTON -- Auditioning for the starting nod in the All-Star Game in front of American League manager Ned Yost, ace Dallas Keuchel fired eight shutout innings and got just enough run support from George Springer's two-run homer off the foul pole in the third inning as the Astros secured a series win with a 4-0 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Jose Altuve added a run-scoring double in the fifth, but by then, Keuchel was well on his way to his 10th win of the season. Now a 10-game winner in back-to-back seasons, Keuchel worked around two doubles in the first two innings to strand six and strike out seven. The lefty is now the first Astros pitcher since Roy Oswalt in 2005 to win 10 games before the All-Star break.

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

Fair to say that Springer's blast keys victory

Fair to say that Springer's blast keys victory

HOUSTON -- As far back as he can remember, Astros outfielder George Springer has never hit a foul pole.

Until Tuesday night.

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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.