Astros call up Hernandez to bolster infield

Astros call up Hernandez to bolster infield

HOUSTON -- One night after knocking in four runs for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Enrique Hernandez ditched the RedHawks uniform for the Major League variety.

Hernandez was called up along with outfielder Domingo Santana and left-handed reliever Kevin Chapman for Tuesday's Astros game against the Mariners. On Monday night, the Astros optioned struggling shortstop Jonathan Villar to Triple-A Oklahoma City and Hernandez' was the corresponding move.

The 22-year-old utility infielder who goes by Kiké, short for Enrique, went 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs in Oklahoma City's 10-6 win over Colorado Springs. He's hitting .337 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 67 games for the RedHawks.

"Kiké has been one of our best hitters in the Minor Leagues," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He sees himself as a super utility, we see him as a super utility."

Hernandez is from Puerto Rico, but that didn't stop his family from catching a flight to Houston for Tuesday's game.

Hernandez was able to deliver in front of his family, knocking the first two hits of his career -- an RBI double and a single in Tuesday's 13-2 loss.

"As soon as I got to second and turned around and saw that my family was on the big screen," Hernandez said, "and those faces, the emotions that they were showing, that's the moment that I'll never forget about."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Mike Vernon is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.