PREVIEW: Ailing Astros give ball to Hunter Brown vs. Giants

Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW: Ailing Astros give ball to Hunter Brown vs. Giants

The Houston Astros continue their series against the visiting San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. They hope it’s not another costly outing.

One night after right-hander Jose Urquidy sustained a right shoulder injury, the Astros lost another starter unexpectedly when right-hander Luis Garcia departed in the first inning against the Giants on Monday.

Garcia made just eight pitches in the Astros’ 7-3 interleague victory before leaving with right elbow discomfort. Houston manager Dusty Baker was unable to provide additional details regarding Garcia, who is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Urquidy was placed on the 10-day injured list earlier Monday with shoulder inflammation.

Losing Garcia, who had logged consecutive scoreless outings entering his sixth start of the season, represented a double whammy for an organization already missing right-handed starter Lance McCullers Jr. (elbow).

Baker said of the organizational starting pitching depth, “It tests it a lot, but there are some guys that are looking for an opportunity to help us and help themselves, and hopefully they can come through. You can’t feel sorry for yourself.”

Coincidentally, both Urquidy and Garcia pitched in the World Baseball Classic prior to the season, with Urquidy representing Mexico and Garcia pitching for Venezuela.

“I’d hate to think that some of our guys, especially the Latin guys that went to the WBC, are coming up lame,” Baker said. “I’m just hoping that wasn’t part of the cause or the problem.”

Rookie right-hander Hunter Brown (3-0, 2.37 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Astros on Tuesday.

Brown tossed seven scoreless innings against the host Tampa Bay Rays in a 1-0 victory on Wednesday, allowing two hits and two walks while recording a career-high eight strikeouts. It marked his third start of at least seven innings without an earned run allowed this season, the only pitcher in the majors able to make that distinction.

His three starts of at least seven innings are tied with Toronto’s Kevin Gausman for second in the majors behind only teammate Framber Valdez, who has made four such starts this season.

Brown will oppose the Giants for the first time in his two-year career.

Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 2.70 ERA) has the starting assignment for the Giants. He snapped a three-start winless streak by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 on Wednesday after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts over six innings. DeSclafani was 0-1 with a 3.50 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 18 innings during his winless span.

DeSclafani has faced the Astros once previously, allowing one run on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in a 4-3 win pitching for the Cincinnati Reds on June 18, 2019.

The Giants are facing injury attrition as well after placing both shortstop Brandon Crawford (right calf strain) and center fielder Mike Yastrzemski (left hamstring strain) on the 10-day IL on Monday. The Giants recalled outfielders Cal Stevenson and Brett Wisely from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the roster vacancies.

Both Crawford and Yastrzemski were diagnosed with Grade 1 strains, with Giants manager Gabe Kapler calling the news regarding Yastrzemski a “pretty big relief” after he sustained what looked to be a serious injury late in a loss to the San Diego Padres on Sunday in Mexico City.

Wisely went 0-for-3 on Monday, while Stevenson didn’t play.

–Field Level Media

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