Springer dazzles with sick four-star catch

Springer dazzles with sick four-star catch

HOUSTON -- Nothing hit into the gaps is safe in Houston as long as George Springer is around.

The Astros' high-flying outfielder, who's destined for his first All-Star Game appearance, showed why he's one of the best defensive outfielders in the AL in the third inning of Tuesday's 6-4 loss when ran down a Jaycob Brugman fly ball in the gap and made a spectacular diving catch.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros can't cash in on Springer's heroics

Astros can't cash in on Springer's heroics

HOUSTON -- The way their ninth-inning rally fizzled after a promising start on Tuesday night was a fitting end to a frustrating night for the Astros.

Oakland overcame a three-run homer by George Springer in the final frame, with closer Santiago Casilla inducing a key double play to end the game and help the A's to a rare win over the first-place Astros, 6-4, at Minute Maid Park.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Altuve goes from rejection to perennial All-Star

Altuve goes from rejection to perennial All-Star

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve is about to be a five-time All-Star and the American League starter at second base for a third straight year. To him, this is still just the beginning.

"I don't think it's that hard to have one good season -- just one," Altuve said. "To come back every year and be consistent, it's tough. That's the player I want to be.

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Opportunity knocks, but Astros don't answer

Houston goes 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position vs. Oakland

Opportunity knocks, but Astros don't answer

HOUSTON -- The Astros' offense, known for spontaneous eruption, broke out in the ninth inning for three runs on five consecutive hits -- including a three-run homer by George Springer -- to cut the Athletics' lead to two before falling, 6-4, at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.

"We're never out of it, and we know that," said shortstop Carlos Correa. "In the dugout the atmosphere is always, 'We can get back and score six, eight runs in this one inning.' We just tried to compete out there. We fell short, but it was fun, and we got the crowd back into it."

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paulino rolls into start against Athletics

Paulino rolls into start against Athletics

His last time out, on Thursday, Oakland righty Jesse Hahn was pounded by Houston's power-laden offense to the tune of a season-high 10 runs in two innings. His previous season high was five runs, on May 23 vs. the Marlins.

Hahn will get another crack on Wednesday at the American League West-leading Astros, who lead the Majors in wins, home runs and slugging, and have the fewest strikeouts.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McHugh to make rehab start on Friday

McHugh to make rehab start on Friday

HOUSTON -- Astros right-hander Collin McHugh, who's been out the entire season with a posterior impingement in his right elbow, will begin a Minor League rehab assignment for Double-A Corpus Christi against Northwest Arkansas on Friday.

"We'll take it every five days at a time, and we'll see what we're looking at," McHugh said. "We're still looking at post-All-Star break for a return to the big league team."

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros sign second-round Draft pick Perez

Astros sign second-round Draft pick Perez

HOUSTON -- Accompanied by his mother and father, the Astros' 17-year-old second-round Draft pick, Joe Perez, signed a contract with the club on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

"It was a dream come true," Perez said. "It's awesome. It's crazy."

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros trio steaming toward All-Star starts

Astros trio steaming toward All-Star starts

HOUSTON -- With voting for the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot closing at 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer remain in line to start the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard in the final ballot update released on Monday.

The starters and rosters for the Midsummer Classic -- to be held on July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami -- will be revealed on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Astros be in market for a starter?

Beat reporter Brian McTaggart answers questions from fans

Inbox: Will Astros be in market for a starter?

HOUSTON -- With the Astros chugging along with a 13-game lead in the American League West as they near the midpoint of the season, it only stands to reason trade talks will begin heating up. We're a little less than a month away from the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and the Astros still figure to be in the market for pitching.

Let's open the Inbox to answer some of your trade questions and more:

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Three HRs, dominant 'pen lift Astros over M's

Three HRs, dominant 'pen lift Astros over M's

SEATTLE -- George Springer, Yuli Gurriel and Evan Gattis clubbed home runs, and the Astros' bullpen shut the Mariners out for seven innings to lead Houston to an 8-2 win over Seattle on Sunday at Safeco Field, securing the series victory.

Springer launched a 456-foot solo home run, according to Statcast™, off the black batter's eye in center field in the fourth inning, scoring the Astros' first run. Carlos Correa added a game-tying RBI double, and Gurriel slugged a two-run home run to the upper deck in left field to cap the four-run inning.

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Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Mariners on Sunday.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Tucker makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Tucker makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

The Mets have MLBPipeline.com's top-rated first-base prospect in Dominic Smith. They also have another promising first baseman in Peter Alonso, who has hit well when able to stay healthy.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pushed to limit, Astros relievers respond

Bullpen picks up starter Martes by tossing seven scoreless innings

Pushed to limit, Astros relievers respond

SEATTLE -- An already weary bullpen was put to the task Sunday afternoon when Astros rookie starter Francis Martes lasted only two innings against the Mariners. Houston manager A.J. Hinch pieced together the next seven innings with precision, and the Astros' bullpen shut down the Mariners the rest of the way to finish off an 8-2 win at Safeco Field.

Michael Feliz, who was awarded the win, struck out the side in the third inning and pitched a 1-2-3 fourth before handing the ball to Chris Devenski, who went 2 2/3 innings. Will Harris got the final out of the seventh and worked a perfect eighth, and -- after the Astros blew the game open with four runs in the ninth -- Luke Gregerson pitched around two hits and a walk to end it.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

It's not too early to ponder Astros-Dodgers WS

It's not too early to ponder Astros-Dodgers WS

Sure, it's way too early to speculate about how much fun an Astros-Dodgers World Series would be, which is why it's the perfect time to do just that. Let's get out in front of this thing.

If it happens, I'll be the one walking the concourse at Dodger Stadium with a sign announcing, "I predicted it four months ago!" If it doesn't, well, Cleveland and Washington are nice in the fall, too.

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Keuchel likely won't return until after ASG

Astros ace progressing with neck injury, but club being very cautious

Keuchel likely won't return until after ASG

SEATTLE -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Sunday it's growing more likely that ace left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who is on the disabled list retroactive to June 5 with neck discomfort, won't return to game action until after the All-Star break.

The Astros are being extremely cautious with Keuchel, who has yet to throw off a mound since going on the DL for the second time this year with a neck issue. The lefty has been limited to playing catch at 120 feet, and Hinch said there's no timetable to get him on a mound yet.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick, McCullers help Astros handle Seattle

Reddick, McCullers help Astros handle Seattle

SEATTLE -- Josh Reddick launched a two-run home run and Brian McCann hit a bases-clearing double as the Astros snapped the Mariners' six-game win streak with a 5-2 victory in the second game of a three-game series on Saturday night at Safeco Field.

Houston's offense backed a strong return off the disabled list from starter Lance McCullers Jr. (7-1), who retired the first 12 batters of the game and gave up one run on four hits and struck out eight in a winning effort over five-plus innings.

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Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Mariners on Saturday.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Statcast of the Day: Reddick rules in left

Statcast of the Day: Reddick rules in left

SEATTLE -- No matter how much Astros manager A.J. Hinch praises Josh Reddick for his stellar play in left field, the veteran isn't afraid to remind the skipper that he's a right fielder. Reddick continues to prove he's a steady hand anywhere Hinch puts him in the field and at the plate.

Reddick made a pair of diving catches in left field and clubbed a two-run home run in the third inning to help the Astros win for the fifth time in six games, 5-2, over the Mariners on Saturday night at Safeco Field. It was only his seventh start of the season in left field, though he often moves from right to left late in games as a defensive replacement.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marwin day to day with oblique tightness

Marwin day to day with oblique tightness

SEATTLE -- Astros infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez is day to day after he was scratched from the Astros' starting lineup about 45 minutes prior to Saturday's 5-2 win over the Mariners with a right oblique tightness. Yuli Gurriel replaced him in the lineup at first base, batting seventh.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Gonzalez felt tender during batting practice with soreness in his side.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros option Musgrove, activate McCullers

Jankowski called up from Triple-A as Peacock is placed on paternity leave

Astros option Musgrove, activate McCullers

SEATTLE -- Coming off a start in which he was rocked for nine runs and 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings Friday against the Mariners, struggling right-hander Joe Musgrove was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Saturday. Musgrove, who began the year in the Houston rotation, was 0-3 with a 10.29 ERA, allowing 16 runs and 23 hits in 14 innings, over three starts since coming off the disabled list.

The Astros also lost starting pitcher Brad Peacock to the paternity list, which lasts three days. Peacock, who was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale at Safeco Field, flew to Florida late Friday to be with his wife, who gave birth Saturday to the couple's first child, a boy named Colton Joseph. Francis Martes will start Sunday against the Mariners in place of Peacock, who will be pushed back to Thursday against the A's in Houston.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros call up lefty Guduan, option Diaz

Astros call up lefty Guduan, option Diaz

SEATTLE -- In anticipation of their three-game series against a Mariners lineup that features impact left-handed hiiters Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, the Astros called up left-handed reliever Reymin Guduan from Triple-A Fresno on Friday and optioned right-hander Dayan Diaz back down.

Guduan, who joined Tony Sipp as the only lefties in the 'pen, pitched two scoreless innings in Friday night's 13-3 loss to Seattle, allowing just one hit. He was 4-4 with one save and a 5.45 ERA in 25 appearances at Fresno this year.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros can't keep up with Mariners in opener

Astros can't keep up with Mariners in opener

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez returned from a two-month stint on the disabled list to beat the Astros on Friday night and he got plenty of help from his friends as the Mariners rolled to a 13-3 win in the series opener at Safeco Field.

Mike Zunino, Ben Gamel and Kyle Seager all homered and Danny Valencia went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBIs as Seattle (39-37) won its sixth straight. The Mariners have gone 19-10 since May 28, the best record in the American League in that span, and now have Hernandez back in their rotation.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tucker homers again for Hooks

Tucker homers again for Hooks

Austin Riley's perfect day at the plate helped lead Class A Advanced Florida to a 4-3 win over Fort Myers on Saturday.

The Braves' No. 12 prospect put together his first two-homer game of the season -- and second of his career -- as he finished 3-for-3 with two homers and tied his season high with a trio of RBIs.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Historic pace not fazing red-hot Astros

Historic pace not fazing red-hot Astros

OAKLAND -- With Thursday's 12-9 win over the A's at the Coliseum, the Astros secured a four-game sweep and became the first Major League team to reach the 50-win benchmark in 2017.

Just don't expect Houston (50-24) to stop and smell the roses any time soon. Despite their latest display of domination in Oakland, the Astros don't sound like a team content with what it has accomplished so far.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros win race to 50 victories, sweep A's

Astros win race to 50 victories, sweep A's

OAKLAND -- The Astros won their 50th game of the season on Thursday afternoon, holding off an A's rally for a 12-9 victory to complete a four-game sweep at Oakland Coliseum.

It marked the Astros' 10th straight win at the Coliseum and makes them the fourth-fastest team to 50 wins this century.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Astros on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa does it all with HR, defense, smarts

Astros shortstop makes several key plays in Wednesday's win

Correa does it all with HR, defense, smarts

OAKLAND -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa might make the headlines for his eye-popping numbers and showstopping defensive plays, but he also does little things that can make a big difference, too.

In the matter of a few minutes in Wednesday night's 5-1 win over the A's, Correa made several key plays. And then he also homered, just for good measure.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Astros on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tommy John surgery ends Gustave's season

Tommy John surgery ends Gustave's season

OAKLAND -- Astros reliever Jandel Gustave underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday morning in Houston, and is expected to be out until 2018.

Gustave pitched in six games this season before being placed on the disabled list April 19 with right forearm tightness. But as the 24-year-old tried to work his way back over the past few weeks, his arm didn't respond well.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Astros on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fiers stays hot, pitches Astros past A's

Fiers stays hot, pitches Astros past A's

OAKLAND -- The Astros won their ninth straight game played at the Coliseum on Wednesday night, using a sixth-inning rally and a strong start from right-hander Mike Fiers to beat the A's, 5-1.

Fiers pitched six scoreless innings, before allowing a run without recording an out in the seventh. He allowed three hits and three walks, struck out five and induced three double plays. The righty won for the fourth time in five starts, and has only allowed two earned runs in his last 20 1/3 innings.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the A's on Wednesday.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Astros on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros' five-run first inning holds up vs. A's

Astros' five-run first inning holds up vs. A's

OAKLAND -- The Astros tagged A's right-hander Sonny Gray for five runs in the first inning Tuesday evening, holding on for an 8-4 victory at the Coliseum to take the first two games of a four-game series.

George Springer jump-started the early rally with his eighth leadoff homer of the season and 21st overall. Houston sent 10 men to the plate in the 38-pitch inning, which featured RBI doubles from Brian McCann and Yuli Gurriel and a two-run single off the bat of Alex Bregman.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Astros on Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.