HOUSTON -- Despite the walk-off three-run homer he allowed in Seattle on Wednesday, there's no doubt Josh Fields is still in the ninth-inning mix for the Astros.
He just won't be Houston's closer Thursday night. After pitching three straight days in Seattle, Fields will rest for the series opener against Oakland.
"Fields is absolutely not available today," manager Bo Porter said. "He's been worked a lot and needs the day off."
But Fields' absence did reveal what the Astros might do with the closing role when he isn't available. Porter said it will mostly be by committee, especially with Matt Albers dealing with shoulder stiffness.
"It all depends on where we're at in the lineup and who's pitched already in the game," Porter said. "I hope that's a decision I have to make, because it means we're winning."
Fields was practically unhittable for a week prior to Kyle Seager's game-winning dinger. He had allowed just one baserunner and no hits in five previous appearances.
In fact, Fields has allowed no hits in seven of his 10 appearances this season. But when teams have hit the righty, they've hit him hard.
In addition to Seattle's three runs, Toronto touched Fields for three runs on two hits and a walk on April 10, and the Angels recorded a pair of hits but no runs April 5.
Fields is expected to be available Friday.
Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less