Astros ditch all-rookie battery for Hunter Brown’s latest start

Hunter Brown is a pitcher for the Houston Astros. Recently, he has been paired with Yainer Diaz in an all-rookie battery for the last two months. However, the Astros deviated from that pattern on Friday and Martín Maldonado instead got the assignment of catching Brown’s start in the opener of a three-game series against the Padres.

Diaz had caught Brown’s previous eight starts since the All-Star break. Manager Dusty Baker said that he was trying to match up Yainer with Hunter, but there hasn’t been much success with getting deep into games. He got Maldy in there to help straighten him (Brown) out. And if anybody can straighten him out, it’s Maldy.

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Brown completed six innings in four of his first five starts after the All-Star break but had not surpassed five innings in his last three starts entering Friday. He’d worked fewer than five innings twice. Brown is also incorporating a new delivery that he introduced in his Aug. 26 outing in Detroit. He entered Friday with a 4.53 ERA .

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Yainer Diaz was in Friday’s lineup at designated hitter against Padres lefthander Blake Snell. Michael Brantley was not in the lineup for a third time in four games. However, Baker said that Brantley is “doing great”.

Shortstop Jeremy Peña is the Astros’ nominee for this year’s annual Roberto Clemente Award. This award recognizes an MLB player for community involvement, character and contributions on and off the field. Peña and the Astros Foundation this year began an initiative called “Peña’s Pals” in which the shortstop hosts students from area schools at Friday home games. It is Peña’s first Clemente Award nomination.

Article Source from Houston Chronicle.

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