--1B Brett Wallace enters this weekend's series having started eight of the Astros' 16 games against left-handed pitchers. While Wallace has always hit southpaws well, manager Brad Mills said he wants to keep his young left-handed hitter away from the toughest ones. "As he progresses and gains more experience and continues to get better, that's not going to be an issue at all," Mills said. Wallasce is hitting .242 against lefty starters and .333 against right-handers.
--INF Jeff Keppinger missed his final scheduled rehab game with a stomach illness, but he is still scheduled to report to the Astros on Friday for his season debut four months after undergoing toe surgery. Keppinger's rehab, which ended a day early, finished at 11 total games between Triple-A and Double-A, and he hit .318. He will likely see most of his time at second base upon his return.
--C J.R. Towles reminisced on Wednesday's walk-off hit, the first of his career, ranking it with his debut and his team-record eight RBI game in 2007 among his best moments. "It's one of the top, for sure," Towles said of the ninth-inning single to beat the Dodgers and finish an emphatic busting of his 0-for-32 slump with a 3-for-4 day.
--CF Michael Bourn isn't about to pronounce himself a power hitter after Wednesday's home run on the first pitch he saw from Ted Lilly. "I'll leave that to Carlos (Lee) and Hunter (Pence)," Bourn said. In seriousness, Bourn is not a power threat at all, as the leadoff man went 271 at-bats between home runs.
--SS Clint Barmes will provide tickets for 20 members of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program Friday as part of his "Clint's Crew" charitable effort. On each home Friday, Barmes will pick a different children's charity to host at an Astros game with the opportunity to meet the players.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 -- The final number of Hunter Pence's streak of multi-hit games, three short of the Astros' club record, as he went 1-for-4 on Wednesday.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We had some discussion about that; I think I had the final vote." -- Manager Brad Mills on the decision-making in the dugout for the Astros' two productive intentional walks in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Dodgers.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.