Rudy Owens, a 26-year-old left-hander, has been called up from Class AAA Oklahoma City and will make his major league debut for the Houston Astros tonight against the Mariners here at Safeco Field.
Astros right-hander Brad Peacock (forearm soreness) was a late scratch.
Owens is 2-3 with a 6.05 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) for Oklahoma City this season. In his last start, at Nashville on Saturday, he gave up eight runs, all earned, on nine hits.
The scouting report on Owens:
“A soft-tossing left-hander — 82-88 (mph), good changeup, breaking ball, doesn’t walk guys,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He knows how to pitch a little bit.”
Felix Hernandez will start for the Mariners tonight. He’s struggled a bit against the Astros this season, allowing six runs — just two earned — in a 7-2 loss at Safeco on April 21. He took a no-decision at Houston on May 2, when he allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, his shortest outing of the season. To be fair, he was battling the flu that day.
Michael Saunders has the day off. Stefen Romero will hit second and is the designated hitter for the second night in a row.
“Somebody’s gotta DH,” McClendon said. “It’s just that simple. He got two hits (Thursday) and earned the right to get back in there.”
McClendon said he wanted to give Saunders, who missed several games earlier this month with a minor knee injury, a day off to rest.
“He’s been going at it pretty hard,” McClendon said.
McClendon said he again watched the replay of Saunders’ beating out an infield single in Thursday’s win, which drove in two runs and proved to be the decisive play of the game.
“It was amazing what he did,” McClendon said. “I’ve never seen that before. To have the ability to be running full speed — hell, I wasn’t athletic enough to do that. I would’ve tripped and probably broke my neck. But that was pretty good. It really was.”
Willie Bloomquist is getting his fifth start of the season at shortstop to, as McClendon explained, give the M’s another right-handed bat in the lineup against Owens.
Here are the M’s game notes:
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