Astros short on outfielders with Lee DHing

Astros short on outfielders with Lee DHing

ARLINGTON -- With the Astros playing their final road series of the season against an American League team, Carlos Lee will be at designated hitter for all three games against the Rangers. Lee was the DH for the Astros' series in Toronto last month.

The Astros had all four of their healthy outfielders in the lineup Tuesday, with Lee at designated hitter, Jason Michaels in left field, Michael Bourn in center and Jason Bourgeois in right. Hunter Pence is nursing a sprained elbow and was out of the lineup Tuesday.

"We have all of our outfielders in there without Hunter, which makes us think," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "Having the DH and being in the American League [park], there's not a whole lot of substitutions that we're going to be able to make because of that. At the same time, when you don't have the backup outfielders, it makes things a little bit trying."

If the Astros get in a bind, utility infielder Matt Downs has some experience in the outfield and could play left field if necessary.