MLB notes: Astros will return to Houston on Saturday to start series with Mets


The Houston Astros are coming home and will open a three-game series against the New York Mets on Saturday.

The Astros had to relocate their series against the Texas Rangers this week to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., because of catastrophic flooding in the nation’s fourth-largest city in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Astros will return to Houston on Thursday night after their game against the Rangers.

“With the cooperation of the mayor’s office, we are going to play baseball at Minute Maid Park this weekend,” Astros president Reid Ryan said Wednesday. “Along with Mayor Sylvester Turner, we hope that these games can serve as a welcome distraction for our city that is going through a very difficult time. We hope that we can put smiles on some faces.”


The Mets series was scheduled to begin Friday, but instead a Saturday doubleheader is planned and the finale is Sunday. The Astros have a 10-game road trip after that.

Manager A.J. Hinch delivered the news to his players during a meeting before Wednesday night’s game.

“Obviously, we’re anxious to get home. We have a series to win, we have a couple of games (left in Florida). But to be able to go home tomorrow night and know we’re going to be able to get to the majority of our houses, see our families is really really good news to us,” Hinch said.

The manager said players who are not able to get to the homes likely will be stay in downtown hotels or with teammates.

“We’ll be well aware of the streets that are closed, and the access to certain areas,” Hinch said, adding that players and coaches are eager to get back and do whatever they can to assists some of the thousands of people affected by the storm on Friday’s off day.

“When I had the meeting in there and started talking about our responsibilities when we get home, and not to be too brave and too bold, and not knowing if we’re going into huge flood waters, are we not going into flood waters, player by player said: `Hey, I’ve got an extra room; Hey, I’ve got an extra bed; Hey, I have a floor you can come sleep on,“’ Hinch said.


“This group will stay together and help each other,” the manager added, “and then we’ll band together and help as many Houstonians as we can.”


Right-hander Mike Leake was acquired by the Seattle Mariners from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league infielder Rayder Ascanio. Leake is 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA. ... Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was scratched from a rehab game at triple A after suffering a setback on an injured foot. He was called back to Chicago.