Gomez gets day off after defensive lapses

Center fielder's 2 costly miscues loom large in loss to Twins

Gomez gets day off after defensive lapses

MINNEAPOLIS -- We've seen this before from Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez following a bad day at the office. He was remorseful, apologetic and honest. How much longer the Astros can overlook his gaffes, however, remains to be seen.

Gomez, who's hitting .172 since July and .210 on the season, made a pair of defensive miscues in the fifth inning that led to two runs in a  3-1 loss to the Twins on Monday night. The Twins scored three times that inning off hard-luck pitcher Collin McHugh to send Houston to its 11th loss in 14 games.

"It's something you don't feel good about, and we lost the game because of that," Gomez said. "I feel worse than anyone in this clubhouse. I have nothing to say. I don't feel really good in this situation. When we come every day and [work] hard and we play the game like that, like Little League, it's tough. Especially a guy like me who always comes to work and always knows how important defense is."

McHugh, Gomez on 3-1 loss

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Gomez wouldn't be in the lineup Tuesday, though he didn't commit to any possible further loss of playing time. The only other healthy outfielder on the roster is rookie Preston Tucker, who's in a 2-for-25 rut, so it's not as if Hinch has many options.

"Obviously, I'll take a look at it and see how it goes," Hinch said when asked how much longer he can justify playing Gomez. "We've been pretty beat up in a lot of ways and you keep trying to hang in there with guys. You want to encourage more than anything. Clearly it's been a rough patch for him for a while. I'll take a look and see how it comes out tomorrow."

Gomez made a pair of defensive miscues on May 16 in Boston. He lost a ball in the sun that dropped for a double in the second inning, and on a ball hit into the gap in the seventh, he called off right fielder George Springer but didn't catch it. The tying and go-ahead runs scored, and Gomez was placed on the disabled list the next day with a rib-cage injury.

In the fifth inning Monday, Jorge Polanco hit a ball that bounced in front of Gomez and skipped past his glove and to the wall for a two-base error. Juan Centeno followed with a fly ball that Gomez never saw, resulting in an RBI triple. Centeno scored from third on Danny Santana's hit.

Centeno's RBI triple

"I played a little in and I look up and I don't know where the ball's at," he said. "When I heard contact, I thought it was more in front, so I started and I heard Jake [Marisnick yell] 'Back! Back! Back!' That's when I started running back a little bit, but I had no clue where the ball is at. It's tough when your starting pitcher throws a game like that and you miss balls. It's something that can keep you from sleeping, but you have to move on, and tomorrow's another day."

McHugh didn't place blame on Gomez, who did track a running catch to end the sixth inning with baserunners on the corners.

"We didn't lose because of defensive blunders," he said. "We lost because I gave up [10 hits]. ... They strung some hits together, put guys on base and scored more runs than we did. One or two plays isn't deciding the game tonight, that's for sure."

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.