Diaz homers in first AB back from injured list

Infielder missed nearly two months with hamstring strain; Armenteros optioned to Triple-A Round Rock

July 23rd, 2019

HOUSTON -- Astros infielder hit a three-run homer in the third inning of Monday's 11-1 win over the A’s at Minute Maid Park in his first at-bat since coming off the injured list.

Diaz, starting at third base and batting ninth, was hit by a pitch in the second inning before rocketing a homer to left field off Homer Bailey to highlight a seven-run third for Houston that gave the club an 11-0 lead.

"It's great," Diaz said. "To contribute to the team is amazing. I had the chance to have three RBIs today, [which] is great. Just win the game is the most important thing."

The return of Diaz, who has been out since May 27 with a strained left hamstring, is a big boost for the Astros considering he can play all four infield spots in addition to left field. He was hitting .286 with five homers, 22 RBIs and an .831 OPS in in 32 games with the Astros before injuring the hamstring.

“It’s been a long stint for him on the injured list and he just makes our team better,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said before the game. “He can move around the field. He was doing really well when he got hurt, and then he had multiple injuries and we could never get him quite back to 100 percent. He’ll certainly help.”

The Astros optioned right-hander to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Diaz. Armenteros earned his first Major League win in his first start in the big leagues on Sunday against the Rangers, allowing one run and two hits while striking out six batters in five innings. He has spent the majority of the year at Round Rock but threw four innings in relief on Tuesday in Anaheim.

Worth noting

-- Shortstop (broken rib) will play his final two rehab games at Triple-A on Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling Thursday to join the club in St. Louis. Correa, who has been out two months after fracturing a rib while getting a massage, is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list on Friday.

-- Luhnow said right-hander (shoulder soreness) is likely to return during the second week of August. The question is whether to build him up as a starter. Some of that will depend on how Jose Urquidy/Armenteros are doing and whether they will acquire another pitcher.

-- Hard-throwing reliever likely won’t be available for a couple days after leaving his outing on Sunday with “general soreness.” James’ velocity plummeted, forcing Hinch to remove him from the game. James said on Monday he felt soreness and tightness and had arm fatigue but didn’t give specifics.

“I know I’m a little sore just from being used,” James said. “I’m working on it now and I’ll be fine.”