HOUSTON -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Thursday he remains confident in setup man Ken Giles, who's given up three homers in his first four outings this year, including a tiebreaking two-run shot to Salvador Perez in the eighth inning of Wednesday's 4-2 loss.Three of the four hits Giles has
HOUSTON -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Thursday he remains confident in setup man Ken Giles, who's given up three homers in his first four outings this year, including a tiebreaking two-run shot to Salvador Perez in the eighth inning of Wednesday's 4-2 loss.
Three of the four hits Giles has allowed have been homers, including Didi Gregorius and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees in the Opening Series of the season. Giles had a 1-2-3 inning in Milwaukee last weekend before walking Alex Gordon with two outs Wednesday and hanging a slider to Perez.
"He's been effective except for one pitch or two pitches in an outing, and it's hard, you know, to take him out of his role when it's one mistake," Hinch said. "If it was a colossal struggle for him, it would be a little bit different. It's one pitch doesn't go his away against Gordon and one ill-advised slider in the zone to Perez, or otherwise we're not even talking about him. And the same goes for the Teixeira at-bat in New York.
"Obviously, we don't like where he's at in terms of struggling from a numbers standpoint and giving up the long ball, but stuff out of his hand is really good, he's a confident guy. He's not going to back down from a challenge. He's not going to look to not be used. I trust him to turn it around and turn it around quickly."
Giles has been clearly frustrated, especially considering he's new to the team and he gave up two homers in 70 innings last year in Philadelphia.
"I'm doing everything right," he said. "I'm throwing strikes. I'm getting guys out. It's just one pitch. I've got to figure it out. That's all it is."
Hinch said the nature of a reliever is the mistakes can get exposed and have a bigger impact in the game than a starter.
"It's the last thing that happens in games, it's usually in critical moments, it's usually a game-turning-type scenario these guys are pitching in," Hinch said. "They're under the most pressure of anyone, specifically at that time. It doesn't surprise me that these topics come up all the time, but I have confidence in Giles and he's going to continue to pitch important innings for us."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.