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X-rays were negative on Oswalt's right wrist, but manager Phil Garner was uncertain whether Oswalt would make his next scheduled start, in Milwaukee on Saturday. Oswalt was hit by Ronny Cedeno's line drive in the seventh inning of Monday's 3-0 loss. He stayed in the game and finished the inning, but was done after that. "He's very sore and we're in the ol' day-to-day," Garner said. "I don't know now if he's going to be able to make his next start. I'm hoping that he will."
Astros starter Oswalt was hit in the right wrist by Ronny Cedeno's line drive in the seventh Monday. He retired two batters to finish the inning, then left the game and was listed as day-to-day.
Lance Berkman said he's "90 percent" recovered from a left groin injury that kept him out of the lineup for six games. Berkman has started 30 games in right field and 63 at first base this season and would rather stay in the infield the rest of the season.
Manager Phil Garner thinks Taveras has played as well as he has all season since he returned to the everyday lineup in late July. Taveras has an 11-game hitting streak and hit his first homer of the season in Arizona on Aug. 4.
Biggio became the 34th player in major league history to record 2,900 career hits in the Houston Astros' 9-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday. The Astros second baseman went 1-for-5 Saturday.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Berkman went through agility drills on Wednesday, as he tries to come back to the Astros from a left groin strain. He is expected to return to the team for Friday's contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Palmeiro was placed on the bereavement list Wednesday after his father died on Tuesday.
Ensberg has been on the disabled list since July 10 with a bruised right shoulder.
Berkman was forced to leave Sunday's game against the New York Mets when he strained his left groin running out a fifth-inning double.
Backe came off the disabled list Saturday and made his first start in more than three months. The Astros' right-hander allowed four runs and four hits over four innings in a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets. Backe had been on the 60-day disabled list with a sprained right elbow and had not started since April 13.
Nieve was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Friday to make room for right-hander Brandon Backe, who came off the disabled list Saturday. Nieve, a 24-year-old right-hander, was 3-3 with a 4.32 ERA in 22 games for the Astros this season, including 11 starts.
The Astros optioned Rodriguez to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. The 27-year-old left-hander, who led the team in victories, was 9-6 with a 5.22 ERA in 19 starts this season.
Berkman has 14 RBIs in his last 11 games.
Oswalt was selected on Friday to replace the injured Pedro Martinez on the NL All-Star team. It will be the second consecutive All-Star appearance for Oswalt, who is 7-4 with a 3.10 ERA this season. The MVP of the 2005 NLCS, the right-hander is the only pitcher who's won 20 games in each of the past two seasons, and his 46 victories since the start of 2004 are the most in the majors.
Ausmus batted eighth and went 0-for-3 on Tuesday in the Astros' 7-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs to extend his franchise-record hitless streak to 39 at-bats. Houston manager Phil Garner has faith that the slump will end soon for the veteran catcher, who batted .339 in April. "I'm sure it eats at Brad a little bit every day," Garner said. "As long as he keeps trying to go the other way, I know he'll find a hit."
Clemens allowed two runs and four hits, striking out five, in five innings of the Astros' 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday. The victory, Clemens' first this season, was the 342nd of his career and moved him into a tie with Tim Keefe for eighth place on the all-time list.
Berkman was selected to his fourth All-Star team Sunday and will be a reserve first baseman for the National League. He is hitting .319 with 22 homers and 71 RBIs this season.
In his first start this season, Clemens allowed two runs and struck out four in five innings of the Astros' 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Thursday. The 43-year-old right-hander, who came out of retirement again to re-sign with Houston, began his 23rd major league season exactly eight months since he last pitched in Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago White Sox.
Huff homered and drove in three runs in Tampa Bay's 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Sampson was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday night so the Astros could make room on the roster for right-hander Roger Clemens. Sampson made four appearances, including one start, after he was called up from Round Rock on June 2. The 28-year-old rookie pitched seven strong innings in a 1-0 win over the Cubs on June 7, allowing only three hits and a walk.
After a rough start in which he gave up three runs and three hits in the first inning, Clemens retired the next eight straight in his final Triple-A outing on Friday, finishing the night with five strikeouts, five hits and three walks through 5 2-3 innings. Of the Houston Astros pitcher's 91 pitches, 57 were for strikes.
Oswalt is expected to miss his next scheduled start for the Astros due to back spasms. The right-hander has not pitched since a 3-1 Houston loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on May 29, when he threw six scoreless innings, allowing seven hits with five strikeouts.
Oswalt was pulled before Sunday's game with back spasms just minutes before his scheduled start. The Houston Astros starting pitcher said his back began bothering him two days ago and that it worsened when he was warming up before the game. He said he threw about 20 pitches when he realized he wouldn't be able to play. "It felt like somebody hit me in the back," he said. "I've never had back problems so I don't know what to expect with this."
Bagwell was placed on the 60-day disabled list on Friday and is not expected to play this season because of an arthritic right shoulder. The Astros starting pitcher, who just turned 38, batted .250 last season in 39 games.
Clemens agreed to a one-year, $22 million contract with the Houston Astros on Wednesday after coming out of retirement for the third time in his career. Clemens will only receive a percentage of that money because he won't be pitching a full season. The Astros have projected his major league return as June 22 against the Minnesota Twins. Houston will start him with a minor league team before that.
Springer was suspended for four games Friday after throwing several times at Barry Bonds and eventually hitting the San Francisco star earlier this week. The Astros' reliever won't appeal the suspension and will begin serving it Friday night when the Astros host the Texas Rangers.
Pettitte had allowed six earned runs in two of his previous three starts before blanking the Colorado Rockies on three hits Sunday. The Houston left-hander earned his fourth career shutout in a 3-0 victory. He walked one and struck out seven while improving his record to 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA in nine starts.
The Houston Astros placed Burke on the 15-day disabled list with a dislocated left shoulder before Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Burke was hurt in the sixth inning Saturday when he crashed into the wall in right-center field while catching a ball hit by Garrett Atkins. Burke's shoulder popped out of the socket and popped back in, the Astros said. An MRI exam has been scheduled in Houston.
Astros owner Drayton McLane and general manager Tim Purpura met with Clemens' representatives Tuesday, according to a story in the Houston Chronicle. Reportedly the Astros are willing to start negotiations at no less than a pro-rated amount of the record $18 million Clemens earned last year. "We put forth a very strong number," Purpura told the newspaper.
Huff, who suffered a left knee strain on April 11, will return to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Friday. The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the first baseman will play for high Class-A Visalia Wednesday and Thursday before rejoining the big league club for the Rays' weekend series in Oakland.
Lidge has allowed runs in four of his last five outings and has blown his last two save opportunities. The Astros' closer has seen his ERA climb to 6.94 as hitters have batted .316 against him in his rough five-game stretch. Lidge already has given up three home runs after allowing just five in 70 games last season.
A second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum has confirmed that Backe has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, according to the Houston Chronicle. Yocum also confirmed an original diagnosis that the Houston right-hander will not need Tommy John surgery. He is expected to miss roughly six weeks unless the surgical option is revisited while Backe is rehabbing. He has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Backe will seek a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum for a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. According to the report, the Astros' right-hander is expected to miss at least six weeks, even if he avoids season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Backe was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sprained ligament in his right elbow. The Astros' pitcher left Thursday's loss to the Giants in the second inning with the injury.
Astacio was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock by the Astros on Friday after they placed Brandon Backe on the 15-day disabled list. Astacio, a right-hander, started 14 games last season. He was 3-6 with a 5.67 ERA in 22 appearances in 2005.
Backe left the Astros' game against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday after two innings because of a sprained right elbow. Rookie hurler Taylor Buchholz replaced Backe to start the third.
Huff left in the fourth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles with a left knee sprain. The Devil Rays said the third baseman underwent X-rays and an MRI, and additional details about the injury would be known Wednesday.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Backe will not make his scheduled start Wednesday because of a back ailment. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will take his turn Wednesday against Florida, and Backe will work Friday against the Washington Nationals.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Backe could miss his first start of the season Wednesday because of a back problem. The Astros' right-hander said he is taking medication to reduce the inflammation. Manager Phil Garner said Backe's status for Wednesday's game against Florida depends on whether he's feeling pain in his back.
Clemens, who was in Arlington Monday watching the Texas Rangers' opener against Boston, told reporters he is still leaning toward retirement. That's where I am right now," Clemens said. "I'm going to kick back and watch some baseball. I'm not ready to commit." He sat in a field-level box as a guest of Rangers owner Tom Hicks.
Oswalt will make his fourth straight opening day start for the Houston Astros on Monday. The 28-year-old right-hander, coming off a second straight 20-win season, will face the Florida Marlins. The franchise record for consecutive opening day assignments is five, shared by J.R. Richard (1976-80), Mike Scott (1987-91) and Shane Reynolds (1996-2000).
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Buchholz has become the front-runner for the fifth-starter job with the Astros. The 24-year-old right-hander worked six scoreless innings against Detroit Monday, reducing his spring ERA to 1.96 in 23 innings. He's allowed 21 hits and four walks while fanning 11. He is the favorite over long-time knuckleballer Steve Sparks, rookie Fernando Nieve and others.
Bagwell announced Saturday he will go on the disabled list and will have surgery to remove bone spurs from his shoulder. Bagwell termed the surgery as a last resort in his attempt to play again.
Bagwell has played 14 innings on defense this spring while appearing in 11 spring games, but the Houston Chronicle notes that the Astros' first baseman has yet to make an overhand throw.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Pettitte worked his longest outing of the spring Monday, throwing 64 pitches in a minor league intrasquad game in the Astros' camp. The Chronicle says the southpaw will throw about 80 pitches Saturday against the New York Mets and about 95 pitches in his final start of the spring on March 30.
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told The Boston Globe he spoke with Clemens' agents the day after he took the loss in Team USA's 2-1 defeat to Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Epstein termed the meeting "a routine spring training visit."
Bagwell played his second straight game at first base for the Astros on Saturday. Bagwell's only throw was an underhanded toss to the pitcher covering first.
Pettitte made his first appearance in a spring training game Wednesday. The Astros' southpaw allowed two and five hits in three innings against his former team, the New York Yankees. He said he felt terrible in the first inning in terms of mechanics, but by his final frame, he threw "some decent curveballs and located a few pitches to the last batter."
After missing several days with a back aillment, Everett was back on the field Tuesday night for the Houston Astros. The shortstop was scratched from a spring training game last Thursday, returned to Houston for an anti-inflammatory injection and then sat a few days to recover. He showed no ill effects in Tuesday night's game against Atlanta.
Clemens threw 4 1/3 innings of one-hit ball in the United States' 17-0 win over South Africa on Friday in the World Baseball Classic. Clemens' performance helped the U.S. advance to round two.
Pettitte threw 41 pitches in a simulated game on Friday. He will make his spring training debut on Wednesday after taking the winter off.
After visiting a back specialist in Houston, Adam Everett had an anti-inflammatory injection in his back. Everett could return as soon as Sunday.
Clemens has told USA Today that he expects to retire after the World Baseball Classic, though he wouldn't rule out a return if he gets the itch while watching games. He also said he nearly announced his retirement in November, shortly after his Astros lost the World Series to the Chicago White Sox, but his family convinced him there was no hurry to make a decision or an announcement.
Berkman played in his first exhibition game Sunday. The Astros' first baseman-outfielder had surgery to remove scar tissue from his right knee in January. Berkman told the Houston Chronicle he felt good and was ready to play in games regularly.
Clemens is expected to pitch to minor leaguers Monday at the Astros' spring training camp. The 43-year-old right-hander is planning to pitch in the World Baseball Classic before making his decision whether to retire.
The Houston Astros and Ensberg agreed Friday to a $3.8 million, one-year contract. The All-Star third baseman hit .283 last season with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs for the Astros.
Berkman's surgical cleanup of scar tissue in his right knee Thursday went well. The procedure was necessitated by a buildup of scar tissue that had developed since he had a torn ACL repaired late in 2004. The Astros' outfielder-first baseman should be ready to go very early in spring training. He has decided, however, to bypass the World Baseball Classic to allow his knee to heal.
Taveras was honored as Houston's Rookie of the Year on Friday, according to MLB.com. Yet if Jeff Bagwell is healthy enough to play in the spring, Taveras could spend a lot more time on the Astros' bench in 2006. If Bagwell is ready, Lance Berkman would play left field and newly signed Preston Wilson would start in center.
The Houston Astros are arguing that Bagwell is too hurt to play this season. The club intends to file a health insurance claim on the 37-year-old's contract. Bagwell, who missed 115 games last season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder, is guaranteed nearly $17 million in 2006 unless he retires or is deemed unable to play, leaving the Astros to file a claim by Jan. 31 and collect $15.6 million. Team doctors have already confirmed Bagwell is unlikely to play.
Berkman is scheduled to undergo minor arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to clean out some scar tissue that has developed since having his anterior cruciate ligament repaired in Nov. 2004. According to the Astros, the outfielder/first baseman will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks, but he should be ready for the start of spring training, barring any setbacks.
Wheeler agreed to a $930,000, one-year deal with Houston on Tuesday. The 28-year-old reliever enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career as Houston advanced to the World Series. He was 2-3 with a 2.21 ERA and three saves in a career-best 71 appearances in 2005.
Everett agreed to a $1.9 million, one-year contract with Houston on Monday, avoiding salary arbitration. The shortstop, known for his defensive ability, hit .248 with a career-high 11 homers and 54 RBIs last season. He started all 14 games during the Astros' run to the World Series.
Lidge avoided arbitration and agreed to a $3.975 million, one-year deal with the Astros on Tuesday. The All-Star closer was 4-4 with a 2.29 ERA and 40 saves for Houston in 2005. He set a franchise record for consecutive save chances converted with 24 straight from June 21-Sept. 28.
Munson has signed with the Houston Astros, agreeing to a minor league contract. The infielder spent the majority of the 2005 campaign with Triple-A Durham, batting .285 with 25 home runs and 71 RBIs in 100 contests. He also appeared in 11 games with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but struggled, hitting just .167 with two RBIs.
Quintero will be sidelined for the next several weeks after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a broken hamate bone in his left wrist. The Astros' catcher is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training.
The Houston Astros resigned Palmeiro to a $1.9 million, two-year contract on Thursday. The outfielder hit .284 with three HRs and 20 RBIs in 114 games for the Astros in 2005. He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter for the NL champion Astros.
The Houston Astros declined to offer Roger Clemens salary arbitration on Thursday, making him a free agent. The 43-year-old right-hander played two seasons with the Astors totaling a 31-12 record with 403 strikeouts and a 2.43 ERA.
Springer re-signed with the Houston Astros on Friday, agreeing to a one-year, $750,000 contract. The reliever was 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA for the National League champions in 2005, but held left-handed batters to a .209 average.
Despite being forced to leave his last start early with a sore hamstring, Clemens is expected to be ready to take the mound in Game 5 of the World Series on Thursday -- should there be a game -- according to Astros manager Phil Garner. The veteran righthander has been bothered by the injury since early September, and Houston pitching coach Jim Hickey believes he tweaked it while breaking to cover first base in the second inning of Houston's Game 1 loss.
Clemens is considered day-to-day with a strained left hamstring that forced him out of Saturday's World Series Game 1. The hammy has been bothering Clemens since early September, and Houston pitching coach Jim Hickey believes he tweaked it while breaking to cover first base in the second inning of Houston's Game 1 loss. The Astros are hoping their future Hall of Famer will be ready to return for Game 5 on Thursday.
For a second straight outing on Sunday, Lidge gave up a game-winning home run in the ninth inning. This time it was a solo shot to Chicago's Scott Podsednik, who broke a 6-6 tie with one out in the bottom of the ninth of Game 2 of the World Series. Six days earlier, Lidge gave up a three-run bomb to the Cardinals' Albert Pujols in Game 5 of the NLCS.
Clemens was forced to leave Game 1 of the World Series after pitching just two innings because of a strained left hamstring. Clemens allowed three runs on four hits, throwing 54 pitches in his two-inning stint.
After playing 2,564 regular-season games in a Houston uniform, Biggio finally will appear in a World Series, as the Astros eliminated the Cardinals with a 5-1 victory in Thursday's NLCS Game 6. Only two players in history, Rafael Palmeiro (2,831) and Andre Dawson (2,627), have played in more games without making a World Series appearance, but Biggio can be removed from that so-called leader board now.
Bagwell missed nearly four months of Houston's National League pennant-winning season, and he was reduced to pinch-hitting duties when he returned from shoulder surgery in September. Now the first baseman will have an opportunity to serve as Houston's designated hitter in the American League park when the World Series kicks off in Chicago this weekend.
For a second time in the NLCS, Oswalt was dominant against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, allowing three hits and a run over seven innings to secure a 5-1 win that put the Houston Astros into the World Series for the first time. The Astros' righthander didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning. By then, Houston held a 3-0 lead, and the Astros never let the Cardinals get close. Chad Qualls and Dan Wheeler worked the final two frames.
On Saturday, Clemens gave the Houston Astros what they needed if they are going to defeat the favored St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. The future Hall of Famer worked six innings, allowing six hits and two runs en route to a 4-3 victory that made him a winner for the 12th time in postseason play. It was the 353rd victory overall for the 43-year-old righthander.
Lane got his first hit of the NLCS in Saturday's Game 3, and it was a critical one. His single in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie, sparking the Astros to a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals. Houston took a two-games-to-one lead in the NLCS.
Oswalt was masterful on Thursday night, working seven innings and allowing only a single run on an Albert Pujols home run in the sixth frame. The Houston righthander allowed five hits and three walks, en route to a 4-1 victory that tied the NLCS at a game apiece.
Lidge continued his mastery of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night, working two scoreless innings to save a 4-1 Houston victory in Game 2 of the NLCS. The Astros' closer hasn't allowed a run to the Cardinals since May 29, 2003. Since then, he's worked 30.1 innings without giving up a run against St. Louis. He's allowed just six hits and eight walks over that span, while fanning 43 Cardinals.
Ensberg doubled home the game-winning run in Houston's ninth inning on Wednesday night. The third baseman not only kept the Astros' wild-card prospects in order, he also collected his 100th RBI of 2005.
Not wanting to take any chances, the Houston Astros have scratched Clemens from his scheduled start against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, due to minor soreness in his left hamstring. The veteran righthander, who aggravated the injury in a start on September 3, is expected to be available for his next turn in the rotation, according to manager Phil Garner.
Tuesday's outing was his shortest in two-and-a-half months, but Pettitte allowed just two runs in 5.1 innings to claim his seventh win in his last seven starts. The Astros' lefthander allowed seven hits and two walks in a 7-4 Houston win over Pittsburgh.
Everett reached Pittsburgh in time to start for the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. He went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in his first two trips to the plate against Pirates rookie Tom Gorzelanny. The Astros' shortstop had missed four games while tending to a family health emergency.
Ensberg returned to the Houston lineup Monday night after missing two weeks with soft tissue damage in his right hand. The Astros' third baseman went 1-for-4 and struck out twice in his return, a 7-0 Houston loss to Pittsburgh.
Everett is expected to rejoin his Houston teammates in Pittsburgh Monday, after missing weekend action against Milwaukee because his daughter was facing surgery. Astros manager Phil Garner isn't certain whether his starting shortstop would arrive in time to start against the Pirates on Monday night.
Ensberg pinch-hit for the Astros on both Saturday and Sunday, his first game action since September 5. The Houston third baseman has been out with soft tissue damage in his right hand. Ensberg had a pain-killing injection on Friday, and he said he's going to have to find a way to play through some pain.
Burke, who suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder and a small tear in the labrum last Wednesday, will take batting practice Monday for the first time since he was hurt. The Houston left fielder will go through his regular pregame routine as if he was playing, but he remains day-to-day.
Taveras, who suffered a cut on the middle finger of his right hand Tuesday, is expected to return soon. On Sunday, the Astros' rookie center fielder pinch-ran and scored a run for the second time in three games.
Astros shortstop Adam Everett will miss this weekend's series against the Brewers while he returns to Georgia for his daughter's surgery. Everett is expected back Monday, when the team travels to Pittsburgh for a three-game series against the Pirates.
An MRI exam on Thursday revealed Burke has suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder and a small tear in the labrum. The Astros' left fielder was injured attempting a diving catch on Wednesday night.
After suffering a gash on the middle finger of his right hand Tuesday, Taveras has yet to take batting practice or throw a baseball. The Astros' center fielder could be available as pinch-runner this weekend, when Houston hosts Milwaukee for a three-game set.
Ensberg's time on the sidelines with his hand injury reached eight straight games on Wednesday, and the Houston third baseman says he hasn't made much progress in terms of the soft tissue damage in his hand healing. The Astros don't expect Ensberg to return before Monday, when they begin their final road trip of the season in Pittsburgh.
After attempting a diving catch in the first inning of Houston's win over Florida on Wednesday night, Burke was taken out in the third inning with a partial dislocation of a joint in his left shoulder. Currently Burke is listed as day-to-day.
Clemens claimed the 340th win of his big league career Wednesday night, just hours after his mother died following a long battle with emphysema. The Astros' righthander allowed just one run over 6.1 innings for a 12-2 victory over the Florida Marlins. He upped his record to 12-7 with a major league-best 1.77 ERA in 30 starts.
Taveras cut the middle finger on his right hand on an odd play that resulted in an infield single and the Astros' center fielder having to exit the game in the third inning. He was hit on the finger while bunting the ball and then the ball hit him on the knee as he left the batter's box, so it could have been ruled a hit by pitch or an out, but it was counted as Taveras' major league-leading 67th infield hit.
Biggio was given Sunday off after taking a Jeff Cirillo line drive off his left wrist in Houston's win over Milwaukee on Saturday. The Astros' second baseman isn't expected to miss much time, and he may be in the lineup Monday, when the Astros host Florida in the first of four games.
Despite missing his fifth consecutive game Sunday because of a sore right hand, Ensberg said his hand was feeling better after not making much progress during the week. The Houston third baseman still cannot grip a bat as he would during game conditions, so it remains uncertain when he will be ready to return to the Astros' lineup.
Scott has been listed as day-to-day after bruising his hip in Saturday's meeting with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Astros' outfielder suffered the injury when he slammed into the outfield wall trying to rob Corey Hart of a home run in the third inning. He hit in the fourth, but left in favor of Chris Burke shortly thereafter.
Bagwell, who has not played since May 3, has been activated off the disabled list for tonight's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The left hamstring that forced Clemens to leave his Saturday start after five innings hasn't been a significant problem this week. The Astros' righthander took batting practice on Wednesday and seems to be on course to make his Friday start in Milwaukee. Clemens is 11-6 with a major league-best 1.57 ERA in 28 starts.
Biggio's two-out, three-run home run in the ninth inning lifted the Astros to an 8-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, keeping the Astros one game ahead of the Florida Marlins in the race for the National League wild card.
Pettitte, who was forced out of his Monday start after 5.2 innings because of a bruised and swollen left foot, says the foot is better and he should be ready to face Milwaukee on Saturday. The Astros' lefthander is 14-9 with a 2.42 ERA in 28 starts this season.
Ensberg, who left Houston's win on Monday with a bruised right hand, has sat out the last two days and isn't certain to play on Friday. The Astros' third baseman took 20 light swings and made 20 light tosses Wednesday, and afterwards Ensberg emphasized that he swung the bat "very lightly" because of the discomfort in his hand.
Bagwell took live batting practice Tuesday, and hopes to rejoin the Astros as early as this Friday.
Pettitte won his fourth straight start, tossing 5.2 innings of three-hit shutout ball, in a 4-3 decision over the Philadelphia Phillies, to vault the Astros into the NL wild card lead.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have recalled Munson from Triple-A Durham, where he hit .285-25-71 and slugged .539 in 100 games.
Backe was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and is slated to start on Wednesday for the Astros. It will be the first appearance since July 23 for the righthander, who has been out with a strained intercostal muscle in his side.
The Cincinnati Reds recalled Valentine from Triple-A Louisville on Monday. With the Reds earlier in the season, the 25-year-old righthander was 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA in 12 relief appearances.
Clemens left Saturday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after five innings because of a strained left hamstring. Houston was trailing 2-1 when Chris Burke pinch-hit for Clemens in the bottom of the fifth. It is unclear how Clemens was injured and no further information about the extent of his injury was immediately available.
Backe, out with a strained intercostal muscle in his side since late July, pitched three innings for Double-A Corpus Christi Monday. The Houston righthander allowed two runs on two hits and a walk and struck out four. Backe will start again for Corpus Christi on Friday. A September 7 return to the Astros' rotation is the target.
The Houston Astros recalled Scott on Monday. The 27-year-old outfielder was hitting .286 with 25 doubles, 31 homers, 87 RBI and a .603 slugging mark in 103 games for Triple-A Round Rock. In a stint with the Astros this spring, Scott was 6-for-39 (.154) with a triple and four runs scored.
Bagwell continues to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from right shoulder surgery, and it appears that he will be able to return to action when rosters expand next month. The Astros' first baseman, who has been sidelined since early May, is expected to be limited to pinch-hitting duties initially, but he hopes to resume playing first base by the end of the 2005 campaign.
Berkman ended a 20-game homerless streak on Monday that spanned 74 at-bats with his seventh inning solo shot against the Padres. He went 3-for-5 in the game and had two doubles in addition to his home run.
Clemens has been battling a sore lower back recently, but the veteran righthander said the injury was not to blame for his performance in Thursday's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. The 43-year-old hurler had his worst outing of the 2005 campaign, allowing five runs on five hits -- including a solo home run by Rickie Weeks -- in 6.1 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Biggio was still a bit sore after having two teeth pulled earlier in the day, so he decided to sit out of Thursday night's meeting with the Milwaukee Brewers. In his absence, Chris Burke handled the second-base duties for the Astros. Barring any setbacks, Biggio is slated to return on Friday.
According to Astros general manager Tim Purpura, Clemens will not need to undergo an MRI on his ailing lower back at this time. The veteran righthander was considering the test, but after visiting with a specialist on Monday, it was determined that he should be able to pitch through the nagging injury. Clemens currently is scheduled to take the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Ensberg reached base all five times he came to plate in Monday's 12-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk. The Astros' third baseman belted a solo home run to deep left field in the seventh inning and scored three runs. For the season, he is batting .300 with 33 homers, 91 RBI and six stolen bases in 117 games.
Taveras tied a career high for hits in a game, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored in Monday's 12-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. With the performance, the rookie outfielder improved his August batting average to .352 in 13 games.
Bothered by a back ailment that surfaced in his July 27 start against Philadelphia, Clemens said Sunday that he might have to undergo an MRI exam to see what's wrong. The Astros have encouraged the future Hall of Famer to have the exam, but the veteran righthander has resisted. That may change, as the discomfort has worked its way down into his pelvic region.
Clemens tossed eight innings of two-hit shutout ball at the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday, but for the sixth time this season, the Astros failed to score behind him, losing 1-0 in the ninth.
Ensberg notched his second multihomer game of the 2005 campaign, going deep twice in Tuesday's loss to the Washington Nationals. The third baseman hit a solo homer to left-center field in the second inning before adding a two-run shot to left in the fifth. He added a single and finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk.
Clemens notched his fourth consecutive win, allowing just one unearned run in seven solid innings of work in Sunday's 8-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants. The 43-year-old righthander struck out four and walked two, improving to 11-4 on the season and lowering his ERA to a major league-best 1.38.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays activated Munson from the disabled list on Wednesday and optioned him to Triple-A Durham. Bruised ribs sidelined Munson for a month, a little more than a week after he was recalled from Durham. He was 2-for-7 (.286) with three walks in four games before he was injured. At Durham, he's a .289 hitter with 20 homers and 55 RBI in 75 contests.
Clemens threw his first gopher ball since June 28, but it was the only run the Diamondbacks managed to score in a 3-1 victory, Clemens' 10th of the year.
Pettitte, who went 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA in six July starts, was named the National League Pitcher of the Month. In 40 innings of work, he allowed 32 hits and 10 walks, while striking out 31.
After allowing nine hits and three runs in six innings against the Mets on Sunday, Oswalt said he's going through a dead-arm period. He said he didn't have his best legs either, noting that he feared he would have a bad outing based on how he felt in the bullpen before the game.
After suffering a minor back strain the previous afternoon, Clemens was dealing with some lingering stiffness on Wednesday, but he decided to take the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies anyway. Although he was not dominating, the 42-year-old righthander recorded the win, allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked two.
During a bullpen session on Monday, Backe strained a muscle in his side, and the injury is expected to keep him sidelined for the next couple of weeks. As a result, the Houston Astros have placed the righthander on the 15-day disabled list, replacing him on the roster and in the starting rotation by rookie Ezequiel Astacio.
With a bunt single in Wednesday's victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Taveras notched his 51st infield single of the 2005 campaign, breaking the Astros' club record Craig Biggio set in 1992. It was the only hit of the game for the 23-year-old outfielder.
With Brandon Backe landing on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his side, the Houston Astros have recalled Astacio from Triple-A Round Rock to fill the spot on the roster and in the starting rotation. The rookie righthander is scheduled to take the mound against Pedro Martinez and the New York Mets on Thursday.
Oswalt went the distance in Tuesday's 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, notching the ninth complete game of his major league career and fourth of the 2005 campaign. The Astros' righthander, who has won eight of his last nine starts, allowed just one run on eight hits, struck out nine and walked one to improve to 14-8 on the season.
Biggio and Lance Berkman became the first players in Houston Astros history to homer back-to-back twice in the same game, accomplishing the feat in Monday's 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The veteran second baseman now has 15 home runs this season and 15 multihomer games in his major league career.
Berkman and Craig Biggio became the first players in Houston Astros history to homer back-to-back twice in the same game, accomplishing the feat in Monday's 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The outfielder, who now has 14 multihomer games in his major league career, extended his current hitting streak to nine games. Over that span, he is 16-for-36 (.444) with five doubles, five home runs and 10 RBI.
Oswalt did not appear to be bothered by the minor soreness and swelling in the index finger on his left (non-pitching) hand in Thursday's 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals, scattering six hits over eight shutout innings. The Astros' righthander, who suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch in his previous outing, struck out six and did not walk a batter. He now has won eight of his last 10 starts.
Pettitte tossed seven shutout innings to record the win in Wednesday's 8-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, scattering five hits, striking out seven batters and walking just one. The lefthander hasn't appeared to be bothered by his troublesome left elbow recently, going 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his last six starts. For the season, he is 7-7 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 19 outings.
Berkman went 3-for-3 with a double and his second home run in as many days in Wednesday's 8-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, continuing his recent hot streak at the plate. Over his last four games, the Astros' outfielder is 10-for-16 (.625) with three doubles, two homers, six RBI and five runs scored.
Shortly after notching the victory in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Astacio was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room on the Astros roster for Wandy Rodriguez, who got the nod in Game 2. Astacio went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out five and walking two.
The Houston Astros recalled Rodriguez from Double-A Corpus Christi in time to start the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 26-year-old lefthander recorded the win, allowing four runs -- two earned -- on seven hits in six innings of work. He struck out six and walked just one.
Late in Tampa Bay's 5-4 win over Toronto on Sunday, Huff moved over to third base and played two innings there. It was his first 2005 appearance at third after playing 86 games there in 2004.
Oswalt is battling some soreness and swelling in the index finger on his left (non-pitching) hand, an injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. The Astros' righthander does not think the ailment will force him to miss a start, and he has been listed as day-to-day.
The Astros actviated Quintero from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. The catcher, who has been sidelined since udnergoing an appendectomy, has played in just five games with the Astros this season, chalking up one hit in 16 at bats.
The Houston Astros sent Travis Driskill to Triple-A Round Rock and recalled Astacio from the same affiliate on Thursday. The 25-year-old righthander was 0-4 with a 9.47 ERA in seven games (five starts) in two previous stints with the Astros. With Round Rock, Astacio was 4-4 with a 3.11 ERA and a save in 11 starts and a relief appearance.
Pettitte threw in the bullpen over the weekend and reported no major problems with his troublesome left elbow. Barring any last-minute setbacks, the veteran lefthander will be on the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, as scheduled. In 17 starts this season, Pettitte is 6-7 with a 3.09 ERA.
Biggio collected a pair of hits in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Dodgers, giving him 2730 for his career, tied with Barry Bonds for 49th on the all-time hit list.
Rodriguez was optioned to Double-A Chorpus Christi by the Astros following Friday's game with the Dodgers. This season Rodriguez is 4-4 with a 7.25 ERA in nine appearances.
Pettitte remained on the mound long enough to record the win in Wednesday's 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres, but the Astros' lefthander left the game after experiencing some tightness in his pitching elbow during the fifth inning. Prior to his departure, Pettitte allowed one run on three hits, struck out four and walked one. According to manager Phil Garner, the ailment is not considered serious, and the team expects Pettitte to be ready for his next start.
Although not a save situation, Lidge saw his first action in nearly two weeks, taking the mound in the seventh inning of Tuesday's victory over the San Diego Padres. The Astros' closer, who had been sidelined since June 24 with a mildly strained right biceps, struck out one and did not allow a hit in his scoreless inning of work.
After getting off to a slow start this season, Burke is beginning to settle in at the plate for the Houston Astros. The outfielder/second baseman went 1-for-3 with a walk in Tuesday's win over the San Diego Padres to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games. Over that span, he is 13-for-36 (.361) with four doubles, three RBI and five stolen bases.
Ensberg extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI in Monday's 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres. Over that span, the Astros' third baseman has batted .395 (17-for-43) with six doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI.
Oswalt notched his third complete game of the 2005 campaign and eighth of his major league career, going the distance in Monday's 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres. The Astros' righthander allowed one run on five hits, struck out six and walked two. He has won six of his last seven starts, including five straight.
With an open roster spot after optioning righthander Ezequiel Astacio to Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, the Houston Astros have recalled Gallo from the minor league club. The lefthander, who will pitch in relief with the Astros, was 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA in 37 appearances with Round Rock this season.
After being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to start the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds, Astacio has been optioned back to the minor league club by the Houston Astros. The 25-year-old righthander struggled in Saturday's outing, allowing seven runs -- three earned -- on 11 hits, including two home runs, in six innings of work. He struck out six and walked one.
Lidge still hasn't pitched for the Astros since suffering a mildly strained right biceps during a session of long toss on June 25. The Houston closer won't work in Sunday's finale against Cincinnati, but Astros manager Phil Garner thinks Lidge may be ready to go on Monday or Tuesday.
The Houston Astros designated Franco for assignment on Saturday. They now have 10 days to trade, release or send the 44-year-old to the minors. Franco, second on the all-time saves list with 424, is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in 31 games with the Astros this season.
Tampa Bay placed Munson on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with bruised ribs. To take his spot on the roster, the club has purchased Chris Singleton's contract from Triple-A Durham. Munson, who has two hits in seven at bats with the Devil Rays this season, was injured sliding into home plate against Toronto on Tuesday night.
Astacio has been recalled by the Astros from Triple-A Round Rock and will be the starting pitcher in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds. Astacio went 0-3 with a 10.98 ERA in an earlier stint with the Astros this season.
Backe's recent struggles continued in Thursday night's meeting with the Cincinnati Reds, as he allowed two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings and tied his career high by walking six batters. Over his last four starts, the Astros' righthander has posted an 0-3 record and surrendered 20 runs in 19.1 innings of work. He's struck out 16 batters, walked 15 and given up six home runs during that time.
As a precautionary measure, the Astros have been holding Lidge out over the past several days, allowing the closer to recover from a mildly strained right biceps muscle. Lidge, who suffered the injury while playing long toss on Saturday, should be available this weekend, barring any setbacks.
Biggio took a Byung-Hyun Kim pitch off his right elbow in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game against the Colorado Rockies, marking the 268th time in his career he's been nailed by a pitch. The Astros' second baseman now holds the modern-era (post-1900) record, passing Don Baylor.
Ensberg notched the third grand slam of his major league career, going deep in the fifth inning of Tuesday's loss to the Colorado Rockies. The Astros' third baseman also added a sacrifice fly to finish the contest with a career high-tying five RBI. He drove in five runs in a game against the Giants last month as well.
The Devil Rays have activated relief pitcher Trever Miller from the disabled list. Miller had been placed on the 15-day DL back on June 14 with a strained right hamstring. Miller should bring much needed left-handed help to Tampa's bullpen, as he will be the number one option against right-handed batters.
The Devil Rays have activated relief pitcher Trever Miller from the disabled list. Miller had been placed on the 15-day DL on June 14 with a strained right hamstring. Miller should bring much-needed lefthanded help to Tampa's bullpen. In 29 relief appearances, the southpaw has posted a 4.24 ERA.
The diagnosis for Huff is a bruised right knee. The Tampa Bay DH-outfielder will be examined Friday by the team's orthopedic physician, Dr. Koco Eaton, and perhaps more will be known about his condition after the exam.
On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays recalled Munson from Triple-A Durham. The 27-year-old lefthanded hitter appeared in the Rays' starting lineup Thursday night against the New York Yankees. He is batting sixth and serving as the Rays' designated hitter.
There hasn't been an update on Huff's bruised right knee, which he injured on Wednesday, but the outfielder isn't in Tampa Bay's lineup for Thursday night's game against the Yankees.
Huff suffered a bruised right knee and was forced to leave Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees in the fifth inning. The outfielder, who was replaced in the Devil Rays' lineup by Reggie Taylor, has been listed as day-to-day, but he will be re-evaluated prior to Thursday's contest to determine his availability.
According to Astros manager Phil Garner, Quintero is expected to be sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks after undergoing an appendectomy over the weekend. As a result, the club has placed the backup catcher on the 15-day disabled list and purchased the contract of Raul Chavez from Triple-A Round Rock.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays placed Miller on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained right hamstring. The 32-year-old lefthander believes he injured the hammy running sprints during a workout last week. He goes on the DL with a 4.24 ERA in 29 relief appearances for the Rays.
Taveras managed just an infield single in five trips to the plate in Houston's 8-5 loss to Baltimore Monday, but the hit gave the Astros' center fielder a 10-game hitting streak. During his 10-game run, Taveras is batting .500 (21-for-42) with seven runs scored.
Bagwell likely won't play again this season, as he is expected to require about three months of recovery time after undergoing surgery on his troublesome right shoulder on Tuesday. The veteran first baseman, who already has missed more than a month, said he is not going to rush back and risk further injury. In 24 games this year, he is batting .250 with three homers and 15 RBI.
With Lance Berkman taking over at first base for the injured Jeff Bagwell, the Houston Astros plan to give the everyday left-field job to Burke. In 23 games with the major league club this season, the 25-year-old is batting just .217 with four RBI and one stolen base. He has struck out 15 times in 60 at-bats.
Taveras notched a career-high four hits in four at-bats in Sunday's victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, but he was forced to leave in the seventh inning after straining his left hamstring. The Astros' center fielder, who has been listed as day-to-day, will be re-evaluated on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. Taveras has hit safely in his last six games, going 12-for-24 (.500) with five runs scored and a stolen base over that span.
Quintero has been recalled from Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros, replacing the struggling Raul Chavez, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday. In 45 games with the minor league club this season, Quintero was batting .299 with seven home runs and 25 RBI.
Burke has been recalled from Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros, filling the roster spot of demoted pitcher Ezequiel Astacio. The infielder began the 2005 campaign on the major league roster, but was demoted early last month to make room for the return of outfielder Lance Berkman. In 19 games with the Astros, he is batting .222 with three RBI and one stolen base.
Astacio has been optioned to Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros, opening a spot on the roster for infielder Chris Burke, recalled from the minor league club on Tuesday. The 25-year-old righthander has posted a 0-3 record and 10.98 ERA in six appearances with the Astros this season, including four starts.
Biggio was back in the Houston Astros' lineup for Monday's matchup with the Cincinnati Reds, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, dropping his season batting average to .291 -- the lowest it has been in nearly a month. The veteran second baseman injured his hip in Friday's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers and was limited to pinch-hitting duties over the weekend.
The Astros skipped Pettitte the last time through the starting rotation after the lefthander reported some minor stiffness in his pitching elbow. However, he returned to the mound for Sunday's meeting with the Milwaukee Brewers and notched his first win in nearly a month. In six strong innings of work, Pettitte allowed just three hits and did not give up a run. He struck out eight and walked one.
Biggio sat out yesterday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a hip injury, and is out of the lineup today. He is hitting .297 with eight homers, 23 RBI and 29 runs in 46 games this year.
Clemens had a bullpen session on Thursday and afterwards the Astros said he will make his scheduled start Monday against the Reds. He had left his last start against the Cubs in the 5th inning with a strained groin. Clemens is getting no run support this year, as the Astros are averaging a paltry 2.12 runs per game and have been shutout in 3 of his starts.
Clemens had a bullpen session on Thursday, and afterwards the Astros said he will make his scheduled start Monday against the Reds. He had left his last start against the Cubs in the fifth inning with a strained groin. Clemens is getting no run support this year, as the Astros are averaging a paltry 2.12 runs per game and have been shutout in three of his starts.
Huff missed his second straight game on Wednesday with a stomach virus. He was sent home in an attempt to keep the other Tampa Bay players from becoming ill.
Clemens allowed just two hits over five shutout innings in Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs, but was forced to leave with discomfort in his groin. According to the veteran righthander, the injury is more than a mild strain, but he does not think it is a tear. Astros Manager Phil Garner indicated that Clemens should be ready for his next start, but he will be re-evaluated over the next couple of days to determine his status.
Huff was expected to return to the Tampa Bay lineup Tuesday after missing Sunday's contest with a stiff neck, but he sat again in the Rays' 5-4 win over Oakland. While most sources identify Huff's neck as the reason, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Huff came down with a stomach bug.
Lidge battled control problems in Tuesday's loss to the Chicago Cubs, blowing his second save of the 2005 campaign. The Astros' righthander walked two, allowed one hit and surrendered two runs in two-thirds of an inning, suffering the loss.
Huff is expected to return to the Tampa Bay lineup Tuesday after missing Sunday's contest with a stiff neck. Before sitting out Sunday's 8-5 loss to Florida, Huff had gone 5-for-12 with a pair of doubles and five RBI in his previous three games. He'll look to pick it up where he left off when the Rays host Oakland on Tuesday night.
Pettitte was scheduled to take the mound against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, but as a precautionary measure, the Astros have decided to skip him this time through the rotation. The lefthander, who will be replaced by Wandy Rodriguez, is nursing some minor tightness in his pitching elbow and is expected to be ready for his next start.
Huff was a late scratch from the starting lineup on Sunday after complaining of a stiff neck. The Tampa Bay right fielder had to sit at a time when he was hitting well. In his last three games before Sunday's series finale between the Rays and Marlins, Huff was 5-for-12 with a pair of doubles and five RBI.
Rodriguez has been recalled from Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros. The lefthander is slated to take the mound against the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, filling in for veteran Andy Pettitte, who will be skipped this time through the starting rotation, due to tightness in his pitching elbow. In eight starts with the minor league club this season, Rodriguez is 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA. He has 48 strikeouts and 16 walks in 46.1 innings of work.
Pettitte has tied a career-worst streak, losing his last three starts. In Wednesday's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the lefthander turned in his worst performance since joining the Astros, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in five innings of work. He struck out four and walked one.
Pettitte has dropped his last three starts, tying a career-worst streak. Making the 300th start of his major league career, the lefthander turned in his worst performance since joining the Astros, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in five innings of work in Wednesday's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He struck out four and walked one.
Oswalt silenced the Diamondbacks' bats in Tuesday's meeting with Arizona, scattering five hits over eight shutout innings to notch his fifth win of the 2005 campaign. The Astros' righthander, who struck out eight and walked one, improved to 5-4 in nine starts this season and improved his ERA to 3.50.
Oswalt had lost three of his last four starts, but appeared to be in control on Tuesday. The Astros have averaged just two runs in each of the games Oswalt has dropped this year.
As anticipated, Lane returned to the Astros' lineup for Tuesday's meeting with the Arizona Diamondbacks after sitting out the previous three days with a sore foot. The outfielder went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in the 3-0 victory.
Lane's production has taken a dramatic turn for the worse this month. After hitting .295 with four home runs, 13 RBI and five stolen bases in 22 games in April, he is batting .128 with one homer, two RBI and no steals in 14 games in May. If his struggles continue, the Astros could look to Orlando Palmeiro to handle the everyday duties in right field.
Taveras wasn't expected to settle in Houston until 2006, but Lance Berkman's injury and a solid spring by the 23-year-old prospect moved his timetable up a year. He's batting just .259, but he's walked enough for a .320 on-base percentage in the early going, and he's stolen a National League-best 14 bases while getting caught only twice.
Lane missed the Astros' last two games with a strained right foot. He should start for the team on Tuesday. This season, Lane is batting .237 with five home runs and 15 RBI.
Lane is stuck in a major slump, as his average has dropped from .342 to .237 over the last 15 games. He may only see spot time unless he gets his act together.
Bagwell will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his arthritic right shoulder within the next couple of weeks. The veteran first baseman is expected to require about three months of recovery time, so the Astros are optimistic that he will be available for the last few weeks of the 2005 campaign, according to GM Tim Purpura. There had been speculation that the shoulder problem would force Bagwell to retire, but with a successful procedure, he should return to the field.
Bagwell has been durable throughout his major league career, landing on the disabled list just three times. Mike Lamb should get the majority of the starts at first base in Bagwell's absence, with Lance Berkman and Jose Vizcaino seeing some time there as well.
Ensberg went a perfect 4-for-4 with three home runs and a career-high five RBI in Sunday's victory over the San Francisco Giants. The Astros' third baseman belted a three-run homer in the first inning before adding solo shots in the fifth and seventh. The three-homer performance was the 11th all-time by an Astros player.
Ensberg extended his hitting streak to seven games with Sunday's outing. Over that span, he has batted .522 with three doubles, four home runs, seven RBI and two stolen bases. In 35 contests overall this season, he is batting .325 with seven homers, 18 RBI and three steals.
In Thursday's meeting with the San Francisco Giants, Biggio led off the bottom of the first inning by taking a Brad Hennessey pitch to deep to left-center, notching the 44th leadoff homer of his major league career. Only Ricky Henderson (80) and Brady Anderson (44) have more all-time. Biggio added another solo shot in the fifth inning and now has 14 multihomer games in his career.
Biggio has been hitting in the No. 2 hole most of the season, but manager Phil Garner bumped him up to the top spot earlier this week. If he continues to produce, that's where he'll stay. For the year, Biggio is batting .307 with 12 doubles, five home runs, 17 RBI and four stolen bases.
Lane seemed to secure long-term employment in Houston's outfield by starting fast in place of injured outfielder Lance Berkman. In his first 18 games this season, the 28-year-old Lane batted .342 with eight doubles, four homers, 12 runs scored and 12 RBI. In 15 games since then, he has gone 4-for-51 (.078) with a double, homer, three runs scored and three RBI. Lane currently is stuck in an 0-for-15 rut.
Despite posting a 1.10 ERA, Clemens notched just his second win of the 2005 campaign in Monday's victory over the Florida Marlins. The Astros' 42-year-old righthander allowed just four hits over seven shutout innings, striking out six and walking three. With the performance, Clemens now has 20 wins with Houston and 330 for his major league career, moving him ahead of Steve Carlton into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list.
Sevens have been wild for Clemens this season. He has made seven starts on the year, going seven innings in each outing. Clemens has struck out 50 batters and walked 15 in 49 innings of work. Despite his age, Clemens continues to be a top-tier fantasy pitcher.
Despite showing some progress by taking batting practice on Monday, Bagwell continues to be hampered by soreness in his arthritic right shoulder, prompting the Houston Astros to place him on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 4. The first baseman, who has missed the team's last six games, will be replaced on the roster by Todd Self. A timetable for Bagwell's return has not been set.
Mike Lamb should see most of the starts at first base in Bagwell's absence, but Self, Lance Berkman and Jose Vizcaino all could see time there as well. In 24 games this season, Bagwell is batting .250 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
Bagwell missed his fifth straight game on Sunday due to pain in his arthritic right shoulder, though the Astros are hoping their starting first baseman can return to the lineup on Monday against Florida. Bagwell has hit just one homer since April 11, and his slugging percentage has fallen to .398 on the season.
Despite his ailments, Bagwell has not missed more than six games in a year in any of the previous six seasons.
As anticipated, Berkman has been activated from the 15-day disabled list by the Houston Astros in time for Friday's meeting with the Atlanta Braves. The outfielder, who has been sidelined since undergoing offseason surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, fills the roster spot of demoted second baseman Chris Burke.
Berkman normally will man one of the corner-outfield positions, but with Jeff Bagwell nursing a sore shoulder, he will get the starting nod at first base on Friday instead. In 160 games last season, Berkman batted .316 with 30 home runs, 106 RBI and nine stolen bases.
Battling an upper respiratory infection, Backe wasn't able to get into a groove in Thursday's loss to the Atlanta Braves, and his numbers showed it. The Astros' righthander surrendered seven runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings of work. He finished with just one strikeout and a walk.
Backe has been a bit inconsistent this season, especially over his last few outings. In six starts overall, he is 2-2 with a 6.81 ERA. In 35.2 innings, he has fanned 29 and walked eight.
Over his last four relief appearances, Valentine has recorded a loss, blown a save and allowed nine runs on eight hits, including three home runs, in just 2.2 innings of work. The righthander's struggles have prompted the Cincinnati Reds to option him to Triple-A Louisville and fill the opening in the bullpen with Ricky Stone.
Overall this season, Valentine has pitched in 12 games, going 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA. He could be back with the major league club later this season, if he can show some better control with Louisville.
Burke has been optioned to Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros, opening a spot on the roster for slugger Lance Berkman, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday. In 19 games this season, the second baseman/outfielder was batting .222 with three RBI and one stolen base, but has struck out 13 times in 45 at-bats.
Burke is expected to be the Astros' second baseman of the future, but he hasn't had the opportunity to display his goods with veteran Craig Biggio continuing his solid play. Burke will be back with the major league club later this season.
As a precautionary measure, Bagwell was held out of the Astros' lineup for Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, due to soreness in his troublesome right shoulder. The veteran first baseman, who has been listed as day-to-day, was replaced by Jose Vizcaino.
Bagwell should return to action within the next day or two. In 24 games this season, he is batting .250 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
Berkman will return to the Houston Astros on Thursday to be re-evaluated after wrapping up a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock. If no problems are found with his surgically repaired right knee, the outfielder is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list in time for Friday's meeting with the Atlanta Braves, according to manager Phil Garner.
Berkman will reclaim a starting job in one of the Astros' corner-outfield spots, meaning Mike Lamb and/or Jason Lane could see a decrease in their playing time. In 160 games last season, Berkman batted .316 with 30 home runs, 106 RBI and nine stolen bases.
Despite striking out three batters, Lidge blew a save and took the loss in Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing three runs on three hits, including two home runs, in 1.2 innings of work. The Astros' closer is still working his way back to full strength after missing some time last week with pneumonia.
After the game, Lidge admitted that his arm is still a bit weak following the battle with the illness. In 12 relief appearances this season, he is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA and five saves. He has 20 strikeouts and five walks in 12.1 innings.
After recording just one hit in his previous 22 at-bats, Biggio has been locked in over his past two games, going 5-for-10 with a double, triple, home run, four RBI and a steal. The stolen base was the 400th in the veteran's major league career.
Biggio saw his batting average dip to a season-low .265 following an 0-for-5 performance on Saturday. For the year, he is hitting .290 with three home runs, 12 RBI, 14 runs scored and four stolen bases in 24 games.
Astacio has been recalled from Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros, and he is scheduled to make his major league debut in Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The righthander, who takes the roster spot of outfielder Luke Scott, is 0-3 with a 4.30 ERA in five starts with the minor league club this season. He has 24 strikeouts and just three walks in 29.1 innings of work.
A struggling Brandon Duckworth was demoted to the bullpen to make room in the rotation. Astacio was slated to join the Astros last week, but a rainout pushed back his arrival.
Scott has been optioned to Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros, opening a spot on the roster for righthander Ezequiel Astacio, who is slated to take the mound against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. In 16 games this season, the outfielder is batting .154 with one RBI and stolen base, but has struck out 13 times in 39 at-bats.
Scott was filling in for the injured Lance Berkman in left field, but had been losing time of late to Mike Lamb. With Berkman expected back shortly, the Astros were able to demote Scott to allow him to get at-bats on a daily basis and regain his stroke.
Lamb took a Mark Prior pitch deep into the right-field seats with the bases loaded in the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs, notching the first grand slam of his major league career. The Astros' infielder drove in another run with a single later in the game, giving him five RBI on the day.
Lamb has been hot at the plate recently, going 6-for-16 with three doubles, one home run, two walks and seven RBI in his last four games. For the season, he is batting .262 with a homer and 10 RBI in 20 contests.
Oswalt was removed from the Astros' lineup in the sixth inning of Sunday's victory over the Chicago Cubs, due to a sprained right foot. After the game, the righthander was walking without a limp and said he did not think the injury is serious. Prior to his departure, Oswalt allowed two earned runs on 10 hits, struck out one and walked two to record the win.
Oswalt has no pain when he walks, but experiences some discomfort while pushing off the mound. He will be re-evaluated on Monday to determine the extent of the injury, so for now, consider him as day-to-day. In six starts this season, Oswalt is 4-2 with a 3.29 ERA and one complete game.
After being cleared by the team doctor, Berkman went on a minor league rehabilitation assignment Saturday at Triple-A Round Rock. The Astros' outfielder is scheduled to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before being re-evaluated.
Berkman's recovery from offseason surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee continues to go well, and he should be activated from the disabled list within the next week or two. Over the past several days, the Astros' outfielder has been taking part in extended spring training games, and his next step will be a minor league rehab assignment.
Berkman is scheduled to workout with the Astros and be evaluated by the team's medical staff on Friday. If no problems are reported, he'll likely be sent to Triple-A Round Rock as early as Saturday to continue his rehab schedule. In 160 games last season, he batted .316 with 30 home runs, 106 RBI and nine stolen bases.
Astacio was expected to make his major league debut in Wednesday's meeting with the Pirates, but since Tuesday's game was rained out, the Astros will skip the spot in the rotation. The young righthander was to be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to fill in for the struggling Brandon Duckworth, but instead, he will remain with the minor league club and start on Thursday. The Astros plan to bring Astacio up for next Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh.
Veteran Andy Pettitte will take the mound for the Astros on Wednesday. In four starts with Round Rock this season, Astacio went 0-3 with a 4.63 ERA, striking out 18 and walking just two in 23.1 innings.
Astacio will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock by the Houston Astros in time to take the mound against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. The righthander, who will be making his major league debut, is filling the starting rotation spot of the struggling Brandon Duckworth.
Astacio and Duckworth battled for the No. 5 slot all through spring training, with Duckworth eventually snagging the job. In four starts with the minor league club this season, Astacio went 0-3 with a 4.63 ERA, striking out 18 and walking just two in 23.1 innings.
Scott, who has been filling in for the injured Lance Berkman in the Astros' outfield this season, was absent from the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, due to a sore right shoulder. However, the injury is considered minor, and he was able to pinch-hit in the eighth inning. He should return to regular duty within the next couple of days.
Berkman is expected to be activated within the next couple of weeks, and Scott likely will become the team's fourth outfielder at that time. In 14 games this season, he is batting .154 with one RBI and a stolen base, and is hitless in his last 20 at-bats.
Clemens extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings with seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, but his teammates can't buy a run. Shut out over 10 innings by Mark Mulder, the Astros have now strung together 22 scoreless innings for the Rocket, who is without a decision since his Opening Day victory.
This is the third start in a row that Clemens has given the Astros seven shutout innings. His 0.32 ERA is tops in the majors.
Pettitte tossed 91 pitches over seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and picked up his first win of the 2005 campaign in Thursday's victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Astros' lefthander, who has recovered from the surgery he underwent on his pitching elbow last August, struck out five and walked one.
The win was Pettitte's first since last July 21. The Astros were keeping an eye on the veteran's pitch count over his first couple of starts, but appears he should be good to go going forward. For the season, he is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA.
A strained left hamstring forced Everett to leave in the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Reportedly, the move was precautionary, as the injury is considered minor. Eric Bruntlett took over at shortstop in Everett's stead.
The Astros have listed Everett as day-to-day. He will be re-evaluated prior to Friday's meeting with the St. Louis Cardinals to determine his availability. In 15 games this season, Everett is batting .200 with one home run, five RBI and two stolen bases.
With a solo homer in the first inning of Wednesday's victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, Biggio notched the 1,000th RBI of his major league career. The Astros' veteran second baseman, who drove in another run later in the contest, joins Jeff Bagwell as the only two players in franchise history to reach the 1,000-RBI plateau.
Biggio has been able to hold off rookie Chris Burke to retain the starting job at second this season. In 14 games, he is batting .352 with two home runs, seven RBI and three stolen bases.
Berkman, who continues to recover from offseason surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, has been taking batting practice and running the bases the past couple of days. The Astros' outfielder is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment in the near future, and barring any setbacks, he should make his 2005 major league debut within the next 2-3 weeks.
The Astros will have to decide whether to bench Luke Scott, Willy Taveras or Jason Lane upon Berkman's return. In 160 games last season, he batted .316 with 30 home runs, 106 RBI and nine stolen bases.
Oswalt notched his third consecutive win and sixth complete game of his major league career, going the distance in Wednesday's victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Astros' righthander gave up just one run on four hits, struck out eight and did not allow a walk, all while battling a minor illness.
Oswalt struck out two batters in each of his first two starts this season, but has fanned 17 in his last two outings combined. For the year, he is 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
For the second consecutive game, Clemens tossed seven shutout innings, but was unable to record a win because of the lack of offensive support. The Astros' veteran righthander gave up just two hits in a 1-0 loss to the Mets last week before scattering five hits in Monday's 1-0 extra-inning defeat. Over the two contests, he struck out 17 and walked two.
The 42-year-old Clemens has looked as dominant as ever in his three starts this season. He's allowed just one run on 12 hits in 21 innings and has 26 strikeouts.
On Friday, Lane had two home runs and a career-high five RBI against the Cincinnati Reds.
Lane is now batting .342 for the season. Eight of his 13 hits have been for extra bases.
Biggio tested out his right arm at batting practice on Thursday and declared himself ready for that night's meeting with the New York Mets. The second baseman, who took a Braden Looper pitch off his forearm the previous night, proceded to go 2-for-4 in Thursday's loss and extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Biggo continues to be hot at the plate. In eight games this season, he is batting .406 with five doubles, one home run, four RBI and two stolen bases. His solid play is keeping prospect Chris Burke on the bench for the time being.
Although he did not figure into the decision, Clemens had a solid outing in Wednesday's extra-inning loss to the New York Mets. The Astros' veteran righthander allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings, struck out nine batters and walked one.
Clemens' performance was nearly identical to his season debut last week. In two starts, he is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA. The 42-year-old has fanned 18 and walked just one in 14 innings of work.
Biggio was forced to leave Wednesday's game against the New York Mets shortly after taking a Braden Looper pitch off his right forearm in the ninth inning. The Astros' second baseman/outfielder was taken in for precautionary X-rays, but all tests were negative. He has been listed as day-to-day.
Biggio's injury is not expected to keep him sidelined for long. If he gets a day or two off, Chris Burke will fill the void in the lineup for Houston. Biggio has hit safely in seven consecutive games and is batting .393 with one home run, four RBI and two stolen bases so far this season.
Roger Clemens made his season debut for the Astros last night and pitched seven innings, giving up only one run to earn his first win of the season, and 329th win of his career. With the win Clemens ties Steve Carlton for ninth on the all time win list. In the game Clemens added nine strikeouts while walking none, and even driving in two runs at the plate.
Pettitte looked fully recovered from the elbow surgery he underwent last August, tossing six strong innings in his 2005 debut against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. The Astros' lefthander allowed just one run on four hits, striking out three and walking none.
As a precautionary measure, the Astros plan to watch Pettitte's pitch count over his first few starts, but if the veteran throws like he did on Wednesday, it should not be an issue. He was limited to just 15 games last season, going 6-4 with a 3.90 ERA.
The Houston Astros will not rush Berkman back into the lineup and plan to give him ample time to fully recover from offseason surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The outfielder is still at least a week away from beginning a minor league rehab assignment, so it is likely that he won't be activated from the 15-day disabled list until some time in May.
Berkman will be re-evaluated early next week to track his progress. In 160 games last season, he batted .316 with 30 home runs, 106 RBI and nine stolen bases.
Munson, who was released last week by the Minnesota Twins after batting just .184 with three RBI in 12 exhibition games this spring, has inked a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The infielder likely will be assigned to Triple-A Durham.
In 109 games with the Detroit Tigers in 2004, Munson batted .212 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI.