The Astros fell behind early, 5-0, in Minnesota and then got a gully-washer of a reprieve. Dallas Keuchel will gladly take the two innings of wasted effort and flush it while his teammates prepare for a day-night doubleheader Thursday to complete their season series with the Twins before flying to Toronto.
Water, water everywhere
(c) Associated Press
Houston will be awash with other pitchers Thursday to take Keuchel's place. Doug Fister (10-7) will pitch the 12:10 Central day game that was already scheduled at the Bullseye. Jose Berrios (2-2 but with an ERA over eight) gets the start for the Twins. Chris Devenski (0-4) makes the emergency start for the Astros in the 6:10 Central nightcap. Tommy Milone (3-3) is the announced starter for Minnesota.
If you believe in addition by subtraction, the Astros made a positive move Wednesday by designating outfielder Carlos Gomez for assignment. The .210-hitting former All-Star came to the Astros a little more than a year ago from Milwaukee, homered in the one-game Wild Card playoff against the Yankees, but could not find the magic the Astros expected from him. Monday's pair of defensive gaffes was his final act in a Houston uniform.
The move opens up center field to Jake Marisnick who has responded well with more playing time. Manager A.J. Hinch says he will be very fluid with his lineups the rest of the year, trying to find matchups that will be beneficial to his younger players.
To take Gomez' spot on the roster, the Astros promoted reliever Jandel Gustave from AAA Fresno. Since the rules allow a one-time 26th man for doubleheaders, Houston later called up lefty reliever Kevin Chapman. It is possible that Luke Gregerson will be brought off the disabled list so neither hurler should unpack their bags. However, they'll be useful reinforcements for the twinbill and Gustave should expect to make his big league debut sometime during the day.