Giles has Hinch's full confidence

Astros closer has struggled early, but his role is secure

Giles has Hinch's full confidence

SEATTLE -- Astros closer Ken Giles has allowed four earned runs and three hits and has walked three batters in his last two outings, including Tuesday against the Mariners when he struggled mightily with control before closing out the game, throwing 31 pitches in the ninth inning.

Giles has made four appearances -- all against Seattle -- and has given up four runs, four hits and four walks in four innings. Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Giles has "got a lot of leeway" considering how early in the season it is.

"I don't think it's necessary to really talk too much about roles," Hinch said. "Outs 21-24 and 24-27 are all really important, so however that happens, I don't really care what the order is. I have a ton of confidence in him."

Hinch said getting back into the strike zone will be the key for Giles to get back on track. Of the 31 pitches he threw on Tuesday, only 16 were strikes.

"When he gets in the strike zone, as we've seen with stretches he had last summer, he's really electrifying and can dominate any part of the order," Hinch said. "He'll absorb the ninth inning as much we need and he'll be good."

Giles has thrown 47 sliders and 44 fastballs this season, allowing three of his four hits on his power fastball. Nine of his 11 strikeouts have come on sliders.

"There's nothing more difficult to hit than a power reliever who had a wipeout breaking ball and he knows it," Hinch said. "He uses it a lot."

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.