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Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

LHP Raul Valdes had his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA over four appearances with the RedHawks. Valdes had a 37.5 percent strikeout rate and had yet to walk a batter this season. The Astros designated him for assignment March 27 when the club acquired OF Alex Presley off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.

Kansas City Royals - PlayerWatch

LHP Justin Marks was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, and he joins Danny Duffy as the lone southpaws in the Kansas City bullpen. Marks was 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA over three appearances (one start) with Omaha. DH Billy Butler hit sixth in the order Thursday, the first time this season he batted someplace other than cleanup. Butler responded to the move by going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run. Before his 10th-inning single Wednesday night, Butler was mired in an 0-for-19 slump dating to April 9.

Kansas City Royals - PlayerWatch

LHP Justin Marks was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, and he joins Danny Duffy as the lone southpaws in the Kansas City bullpen. Marks was 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA over three appearances (one start) with Omaha. DH Billy Butler hit sixth in the order Thursday, the first time this season he batted someplace other than cleanup. Butler responded to the move by going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run. Before his 10th-inning single Wednesday night, Butler was mired in an 0-for-19 slump dating to April 9.

Preview: Astros at Athletics

The Oakland Athletics are an American League-best 10-5 and lead the AL by a wide margin with a 2.57 ERA, and Sonny Gray is a big reason. Gray, the 18th overall pick in the 2011 draft, tries for his fourth straight quality start to open 2014 when Oakland begins a three-game series against the visiting Houston Astros on Friday. “I still don’t think we’ve seen his best game yet,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin told reporters after Gray defeated 3-1 at Seattle on Saturday as his ERA rose to 0.95.

Houston Astros - TeamReport

MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - INSIDE PITCH HOUSTON -- With the demotion of left-hander Kevin Chapman on Thursday, the Astros continue to tinker with a bullpen many deemed vastly improved over the historically poor collection of relievers Houston utilized last season.

Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

LHP Raul Valdes had his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA over four appearances with the RedHawks. Valdes had a 37.5 percent strikeout rate and had yet to walk a batter this season. The Astros designated him for assignment March 27 when the club acquired OF Alex Presley off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.

Royals complete sweep of host Astros

Royals complete sweep of host Astros HOUSTON -- It didn't take long for Royals ace right-hander James Shields to tip his hand on Thursday night, to put the Houston Astros on alert in discovering just how difficult of a task they were set to face at the plate. Shields nearly matched his season total for strikeouts Thursday night while hurling eight dominant innings, and Kansas City completed a three-game series sweep of the Astros with a 5-1 victory at Minute Maid Park.

Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

RF George Springer made his major league debut following his selection from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Springer was hitting .353 with eight extra-base hits, nine RBIs and four stolen bases with a 1.106 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 13 games with the RedHawks. Springer entered the season ranked as the 21st-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com.

Kansas City Royals - PlayerWatch

3B Danny Valencia produced his first home run of the season when he golfed a one-out solo shot to left field off Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel in the second inning. Valencia earned the start due to his career success against southpaws and after finishing 2-for-3 against Keuchel, he improved his numbers to .329 (133-for-404) with 13 homers against left-handed pitching.

Preview: Royals at Astros

The Houston Astros got a glimpse of their future with the beginning of the George Springer era and they hope to see more when they host the Kansas City Royals on Thursday in the finale of a three-game series. Springer, the 11th overall pick by Houston in the 2011 draft, made his major-league debut by batting second and playing right field in Kansas City's 6-4 victory in 11 innings Wednesday and went 1-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts while also getting picked off first.
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