HOUSTON -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said closer Luke Gregerson wouldn't be available for Wednesday's series finale against the A's after working three times in the previous four games and throwing 69 pitches, including 24 in the Astros' 6-4 win over Oakland on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.
Gregerson has struggled of late, allowing four earned runs and five hits in his last three appearances, but it hasn't cost the Astros, who are 18-0 in games in which he pitches. Gregerson was pulled after giving up two runs, two walks and two hits in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday, with Pat Neshek coming in to get the final out of the game.
"[Gregerson] obviously hasn't gotten ahead of hitters the way he normally does," Hinch said. "He'll likely be down [Wednesday], just given the volume of the last four days, and get him back fresh for the next series."
Hinch said Gregerson sets up everything else by throwing strike one.
"When he gets strike one, he can open it up with his slider, and he's got a good sinker and he's got a good changeup," he said. "He looks a little bit fatigued from the volume of pitches, but he'll be fine. He's going to respond and he'll be in there again."
Gregerson has been away from the team on two separate occasions in the last two weeks to deal with a personal issue, and Hinch isn't sure if has affected the way he's pitched.
"I never worry about Luke Gregerson's preparedness or the quality of pitches that are going to come out of his hand," he said. "Obviously, he's been uncharacteristically hit around a little bit, with some damage. It seems like right now, when he's made a bad pitch, it's cost him a run or two in the last couple of outings, but that doesn't impact moving forward our belief in him or the fact he's been a really good Major League pitcher for a long time.
"It's a tough couple of days. We'll give him a day off to freshen up, and he'll be back in there."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.