Saccomanno makes immediate impact

Saccomanno homers in first at-bat

HOUSTON -- The Astros purchased the contract of third baseman Mark Saccomanno from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday to fortify a position that has been thin since Ty Wigginton was sidelined by a left groin strain on Saturday.

"He's a guy who can hit -- he has some pop," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said of Saccomanno, who joined the team for Monday night's game against Pittsburgh. "He can play the corners [and] had lots of [RBIs] and homers at Round Rock."

Saccomanno didn't waste any time showing the Astros his pop. He clubbed a homer on the first pitch he saw in the Majors in the fifth inning to get Houston on the board.

Kevin Kouzmanoff was the last player to hit a home run on the first pitch of his first at-bat in the Majors for the Indians on Sept. 2, 2006.

The 28-year-old Saccomanno hit .297 with 27 home runs, 33 doubles and 84 RBIs in 137 games for the Express. The Pacific Coast League All-Star led the team in home runs, games, doubles and runs (83).

Selected by Houston in the 23rd round of the June 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Saccomanno set an Express record this season by hitting a home run in three consecutive at-bats on May 31 and June 1. Saccomanno, who will wear No. 19, was named Round Rock's Offensive Player of the Month for August and May.

With Wigginton out, Geoff Blum has been starting at third base. Mark Loretta can also fill in at first, but the Astros would prefer to keep Loretta in his current role of starting at second base, primarily against left-handers.

The Astros are also a bit stretched on the pitching side as a result of injuries to starters Wandy Rodriguez and Brandon Backe, and reliever Geoff Geary, so the club will purchase the contract of right-hander Dave Borkowski from Round Rock on Tuesday.

"Geary should be ready, if not today than tomorrow," Cooper said. "Ty, probably seven to 10 days I would imagine. Right at this point, he's day to day. Wandy we don't know, it's day-to-day with him -- same thing with Brandon."

Borkowski, 31, posted a 2-2 record with two saves and a 2.43 ERA in 27 games including one start for Round Rock this season. In 22 games for the Astros this year he owns a 7.45 ERA.

Borkowski has a 5.83 ERA in 177 career games (21 starts) for Detroit (1999-2001), Baltimore (2004) and Houston (2006-08). This will be his third stint with the Astros this season.

Jim Molony is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.