The Sugar Land Skeeters will be getting a big bat in their lineup for a week or so.
Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman is set to begin his rehab assignment with Sugar Land on Monday, the team announced. His assignment is expected to spend at least a week, but not more than 10 days with the Skeeters.
Bregman is hitting .275 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs with Houston this season, but has been on the 10-day injured list since June 16, when he strained his left quadriceps while running to first base.
The former second overall pick from Louisiana State University was selected to the MLB All-Star Game in 2018 and 2019, including winning the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in ’18. Bregman was named the American League Silver Slugger for third baseman in 2019.
It is expected that Bregman could return to the Astros by Aug. 5 when they return home from a nine-game road trip.
The Astros also activated infielder Aledmys Diaz from the 10-day injured list on Monday prior to the Astros beginning a three-game series at Seattle. To make room for him, infielder Robel Garcia was optioned to the Skeeters.
James restarts rehab assignment
Astros right-hander Josh James is back with the Skeeters to restart his rehab assignment, The Athletic reported Sunday. He left Sugar Land to work out with the Astros staff after tweaking his hamstring in an appearance last week.
James has been trying to bounce back after undergoing hip surgery last year, and injured his hamstring in June.
In Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City, James threw 24 pitches, allowing a hit, and picking up a strike out through 2/3 of an inning.
Leon is looking good
Pedro Leon is off to a good start after being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi last week. He is 5-for-20 (.250) at the plate for the Skeeters, with two doubles, two RBIs and five runs scored in the five games he has played in.
MLB Pipeline rates León, who recently competed in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, as the Astros No. 2 prospect.
The Astros signed León as a non-drafted free agent from Cuba in January. He’s played in 52 games with Corpus Christi this season, hitting .249 (46-for-185) with nine home runs, 33 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He’s made 40 of his appearances at shortstop, while making nine appearances in the outfield – all in centerfield.
Skeeters outslug Dodgers on Sunday
Sugar Land scored seven runs in the second inning and prevailed for a 10-8 win Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
The Skeeters scored seven runs in the second inning to propel themselves to the win. The seven runs marked the most in an inning for Sugar Land this year and its six hits matched its most in an inning in 2021.
Colton Shaver opened the second-inning scoring with a two-run single and Miguelangel Sierra followed with a line-drive three-run homer to left field at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, his sixth of the season. Taylor Jones added an RBI single and Ronnie Dawson a sacrifice fly.
Oklahoma City made it a 7-4 game in the third inning, with a three-run home run from Matt Davidson. The Skeeters fired back in the fourth inning on a two-run single from Dawson and RBI single from Sierra.
Right-hander Peter Solomon got the start for the Skeeters and surrendered six runs on 10 hits through 4 1/3 innings. Colin McKee came on in relief of Solomon and stranded runners on first and second to end the fifth inning.
Zach Reks brought the Dodgers to within two in the sixth inning with a two-run home run. McKee picked up the winning decision, tossing 1 2/3 innings and striking out two while allowing two runs on a hit.
With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Ralph Garza Jr. retired two straight batters to keep Oklahoma City off the board, then Skeeters closer Ronel Blanco struck out one in a perfect ninth inning to pick up his 12th save of the year.
The win moved Sugar Land to 40-29 on the season with a 4.5-game lead on the Dodgers in the Triple-A West Eastern Division.
Baez goes an inning in first rehab stint
Astros right-hander Pedro Baez resumed his rehab assignment with the Skeeters on Friday night. He tossed an inning in relief, allowing a run and striking out one, while throwing 19 pitches. The 19 pitches matched the most thus far amongst his three-game rehab stint, with the first two appearances coming with Low A Fayetteville.
Báez was signed by the Astros to a two-year contract in the offseason after spending the last seven seasons at the major-league level with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Báez has been on the 60-day injured list through the regular season with right shoulder soreness.
Hinojosa’s hot bat
CJ Hinojosa has homered five times over his last eight games.
In those eight games, Hinojosa has hit .473 (18-for-38) with five homers and eight RBIs. He also leads the Skeeters and is second in Triple-A West with 23 doubles. The 23 doubles are the most of Astros’ minor leaguers as well.
Hinojosa hit two home runs on July 18 at Albuquerque, which was the seventh multi-homer game for Sugar Land this year and the first that didn’t belong to Jake Meyers or Bryan De La Cruz.
Before Sunday’s start, Sugar Land pitcher Peter Solomon has allowed just two runs and two hits over his last two starts (13 IP), while striking out 17 batters. He ranks fourth in Triple-A West with 64 strikeouts. He matched his season high with nine strikeouts in his last start on July 19 in Albuquerque.
The week ahead
After Sugar Land wraps up the series at Oklahoma City on Tuesday, the Skeeters will return home at Constellation Field for a six-game series against El Paso beginning on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.