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Lee battling through ailing achilles

Lee battling through ailing achilles

HOUSTON -- Carlos Lee hurt his right achilles tendon in Friday's game against the Brewers, but judging from his performance the day after, the injury doesn't appear to be debilitating.

Lee tested his leg during a full round of batting practice on Saturday without any problems, and in his second at-bat that night, he homered off Jeff Suppan to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.

Still, the pain was significant enough to take Lee out of Friday's game soon after he came down with the injury. In his first at-bat Friday, he didn't rotate his leg properly while swinging at a Yovani Gallardo sinker on the inside part of the plate. That's when he first felt the achilles strain.

He ran to the training room between innings to get the leg taped up, and in the fourth inning, he homered. But after his third at-bat -- which resulted in a flyout to right field -- he told manager Cecil Cooper he could not continue to play. He was replaced in left field by Darin Erstad.

Lee tested the leg with some running drills early Saturday afternoon and deemed himself available to play.

"I feel a lot better, way better than [Friday] after it happened," he said. "It's not 100 percent, but it's good enough to play."

Lee gets a lot of his power from his back [right] leg when he bats, so any pain in that area can significantly hinder him. He feels the sharpest pain when he stops running.

"It puts a lot of pressure on it," he said.

Lee hopes to be able to play through the discomfort, and the fact that he played eight innings on Saturday -- before being replaced for defensive purposes -- is an encouraging sign.

"Hopefully it won't be a big issue," he said. "It takes a lot of that leg to swing."

Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Russ Ortiz (1-0, 5.93 ERA)
Ortiz wasn't efficient in his previous start, against the Dodgers, but it was enough to earn his first win of the season. Ortiz threw 116 pitches over five frames, allowing three runs on three hits while walking five. Ortiz has made nine starts against the Brewers, going 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA.

MIL: LHP Manny Parra (0-3, 8.16 ERA)
Parra continued a poor start to the season by allowing five runs and 10 baserunners -- seven hits, three walks -- in four innings of a loss to the Phillies on Tuesday. He's given up at least three runs in all three of his starts and has issued nine walks in 14 1/3 innings this season. Parra has a 5.47 ERA in five career starts against the Astros but has a 3-2 record in those games.

Tidbits
Brandon Backe, who will make a Minor League rehab start on Monday at Triple-A Round Rock, took batting practice on the field for the first time this year on Saturday. ... Lance Berkman is eight homers away from 300 for his career.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FS-H HD

On radio
• KTRH 740, KLAT 1010 (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Astros (Roy Oswalt, 0-2, 4.68) at Reds (Johnny Cueto, 1-1, 2.55), 6:10 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Astros (Wandy Rodriguez, 1-2, 1.80) at Reds (Aaron Harang, 2-2, 2.00), 6:10 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Astros (Felipe Paulino, 0-1, 3.00) at Reds (Edinson Volquez, 2-2, 6.20), 6:10 p.m. CT

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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