HOUSTON -- The Astros are coming home.
The team announced Wednesday afternoon that it will return to Minute Maid Park this weekend to play its three-game series against the Mets. The Astros and Mets will play a split doubleheader Saturday at 1:10 p.m. CT and 7:10 p.m., followed by the regularly scheduled game on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT.
Fans with tickets to Friday's game, which has been postponed, can use their tickets for Saturday's first game of the doubleheader. Fans who are unable to use their tickets for this weekend's games can call 1-800-ASTROS2 (1-800-278-7672) starting Thursday at 9 a.m.
The Astros moved this week's three-game series against the Rangers to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, after Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic flooding in Houston. The Astros will play the Rangers on Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon in St. Petersburg before returning to Houston. The team will have a full day off at home on Friday.
"We feel that the Astros playing this weekend will provide a much-needed boost for our city," Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. "With all of the difficulties that many of our citizens are facing, the games will provide an opportunity for families to start returning to some aspect of normal life."
Astros president Reid Ryan said it's important for the team to come home and be with their families and the community before heading back on the road following Sunday's game.
"We want Saturday and Sunday to be something that can bring joy to people's hearts here in Houston," he said. "Our players want to contribute; their wives want to contribute. They've been asking what can we do to help? So we're going to have them come in Thursday after the game and we're not going to play Friday. These guys can help their families, help their communities."
The Astros were facing the possibility of playing 19 consecutive games away from home, but they will play the Mets in Houston for three games before a nine-game West Coast road trip begins Monday in Seattle.
"First and foremost, our guys are human beings, and this has been really hard on them," Ryan said. "They left for a three-day road trip and many of them had their families here. When the storms started, for a lot of these guys, they've never been through a hurricane, they're not from here, and they just didn't know what to expect. So there was a lot of worry on our team's hearts the last couple of days."
Astros owner Jim Crane said: "We are grateful to Mayor Turner, to Major League Baseball and to the New York Mets for working with us to make this happen. It will be great to get our team back home to their families and in front of our fans. We believe this will be good for the city as we continue to do our part to assist in the Hurricane Relief efforts."
The Astros are donating 5,000 tickets to each of the three games this weekend to the Mayor's Office to be provided to first responders, volunteers and to evacuees currently housed in the shelters that have been set up by the city as a result of the hurricane.
"Our guys want to see them, our players want to touch them and talk to them. We want those folks to come on out," Ryan said.
The Astros, with support from the players' wives and families, will also be collecting food at the gates for the Houston Food Bank in direct support of the Hurricane relief efforts. What's more, the 10,000 promotional Carlos Correa jerseys originally scheduled to be given to fans on Saturday will now be donated to the families sheltering at the George R Brown Convention Center. The Astros will also be donating the promotional T-shirts from Friday's Strozone to the GRB shelter.
The Astros announced late Monday that Crane, the ownership group and the Astros Foundation will donate $4 million to relief efforts aiding the victims of the storm. Beginning Tuesday, staff at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla., which is the Spring Training home of the Astros, began collecting donations for the hurricane victims. Crane Worldwide will provide the transportation of the collected items from Florida to Houston.
MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced on Monday that the parties will jointly donate $1 million to various relief efforts for the damage throughout the state of Texas created by Hurricane Harvey, including to the American Red Cross.
The Astros will raise dollars for the victims of Hurricane Harvey by committing the proceeds from the Share2Care 50/50 raffle for the remainder of the season to the American Red Cross, Houston relief efforts targeting hurricane victims.
HOUSTON -- The Astros are coming home.