Castro gets break with start as Astros' DH

Castro gets break with start as Astros' DH

Castro gets break with start as Astros' DH

ARLINGTON -- Astros manager Bo Porter is sticking to his plan to keep All-Star catcher Jason Castro fresh over the course of the season. Castro was the designated hitter with Carlos Corporan starting behind the plate on Monday night against the Rangers.

Porter also gave Brandon Barnes the night off and started Robbie Grossman in center field.

The Astros skipper said he set a goal to have the Castro close to full strength as the club approached the end of the season. The All-Star, who saw a career-high 12-game hitting streak end on Friday, entered Monday batting .267 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs.

"Once you get to 100, 110 games, I think it's a good thing that we've been cognizant through the course of the year to make sure he keeps his legs underneath him, he stays strong and it has a huge bearing on the success he's been able to enjoy this season," Porter said.

Castro was forced to move back behind the plate in the eighth inning when Jake Elmore, who replaced an injured Corporan in the third inning, took the mound. 

Porter rested Barnes, who Porter said looked fatigued lately. The right-handed-hitter will start the next two games against Rangers lefty starters Travis Blackley and Derek Holland before the club's off-day Thursday.

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.