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Fowler itching to return after bout with virus

Porter says Astros center fielder improving; Castro not in Saturday's lineup

HOUSTON -- After spending the day at Methodist Hospital with a case of gastroenteritis on Saturday, center fielder Dexter Fowler was released later that evening. Manager Bo Porter expects him to return to the ballpark on Sunday.

Fowler, who did not come to the ballpark on Friday, was admitted to the hospital that night. Porter visited him after Friday's 11-1 loss to the Angels.

"He's much better than he was yesterday," Porter said after his visit. "Obviously, he was down, watching the game. He wanted to be here with his teammates. He texted me, 'Get me out of here.' I'm not the doctor, but [I told him] I'd talk to the doctors and see what I can do. He's looking forward to getting back."

Fowler, the club's leadoff hitter, batted .500 in the Opening Series against the New York Yankees, including two doubles, a triple and a homer, while scoring five runs.

"You definitely don't want to miss too many games when you're swinging the bat real well," Porter said.

Porter did not believe that the virus would keep him away from the club for too long.

"He's in the best place for him," Porter said before Fowler was released. "Being in the hospital, they can give him the treatment to get the virus out of his stomach. We'll see how he recovers. When the doctors say he's ready to go and he says he's ready to go, he'll be in the lineup."

Catcher Jason Castro was also not in the lineup for the second consecutive day after being hit by a pitch on the right ankle Thursday night against the Yankees.

"Castro is available to pinch-hit if we need him," Porter said. "I thought we would give him another day."

Castro showed no signs of strain walking around the clubhouse before Saturday's game against the Halos, although he did have the right ankle taped. He did some hitting in the indoor batting cages.

"I've been getting treatment for a little while," said Castro, who did not appear in the game. "It's definitely making improvement. Still trying to get some of that swelling out. It shouldn't be any longer than one more day."

Robbie Grossman, who had been starting in right field, moved to center for Saturday's game. Catcher Carlos Corporan was in the lineup for the second game in a row.

Gene Duffey is a contributor to
Read More: Houston Astros, Jason Castro, Dexter Fowler