With toe still aching, Keppinger lands on DL

With toe still aching, Keppinger lands on DL

HOUSTON -- Jeff Keppinger ran in the outfield prior to Thursday's game, hoping his ailing left big toe would respond well enough so he wouldn't have to go on the shelf. Keppinger continued to have pain, forcing the Astros to place him on the 15-day disabled list following Thursday's game.

The Astros purchased the contract of infielder Anderson Hernandez.

"I did some baseball activities earlier today and it wasn't where we'd hoped it would be, so we thought it would be in the best interest to let it calm down," Keppinger said. "It's basically swelling around the little bone in there that's surrounded by tendons and stuff, and I just irritated something. It's a matter of letting it calm down."

Keppinger is hitting .285 with five homers and 46 RBIs this year and leads the club in multihit games and doubles. Geoff Blum made his third consecutive start at second base Thursday in place of Keppinger, but don't be surprised to see Hernandez or Angel Sanchez get some time at second.

"It's going to be tough to get Blummer in there all the time," manager Brad Mills said. "We don't want to kill this guy, either. He'll do a great job for us, but to put him out there every day might be asking an awful lot. We'll wait to see what happens and go from there."