HOUSTON -- Astros infielder Matt Downs has been given permission to miss this week's three-game series against the Nationals to be with his wife, Leah, in Alabama for the birth of their first child.
Downs plans to fly to Birmingham, Ala., following Sunday's game against the Pirates to join his wife, who is scheduled to be induced into labor Monday morning. Downs plans to rejoin the team Friday in Chicago for the start of a 10-game road trip.
"My anxiety is about at a 9.98 on a 10-point scale," Downs said. "But everyone says the first one, you're always nervous. I don't know what to expect."
Downs is hoping his wife doesn't go into labor before he can get to Alabama. If so, he's instructed her to call the cell phone of head athletic trainer Nate Lucero during the game on Saturday or Sunday in case the baby decides to arrive early.