Category: Franchise News

2001 – Orlando Merced belts a two-out pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the ninth to stun the Texas Rangers, 6-5, and take two of three in the first “Lone Star Series”. Jay Powell picks up the win after blowing the save in the previous frame. 

2001 – Orlando Merced belts a two-out pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the ninth to stun the Texas Rangers, 6-5, and take two of three in the first “Lone Star Series”. Jay Powell picks up the win after blowing the save in the previous frame. 

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1981 – Pete Rose of Philadelphia singles against Nolan Ryan to tie Stan Musial for the most hits in league history (3,630). Ryan would fan Rose in his final three at-bats before a two-month strike begins the next day. The strike is one day too late for Frank LaCortewho blows a 4-0 lead in a 5-4 Phillies verdict. 

1981 – Pete Rose of Philadelphia singles against Nolan Ryan to tie Stan Musial for the most hits in league history (3,630). Ryan would fan Rose in his final three at-bats before a two-month strike begins the next day. The strike is one day too late for Frank LaCortewho blows a 4-0 lead in a 5-4 Phillies verdict. 

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1974 – Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt hits arguably the longest ball in Astrodome history although it is only a single. The ball strikes a speaker that hung from the roof of the Dome, 117 feet above centerfield and 300 feet from home plate, only to bounce back into play as a live ball.  Although the bases are full, confused Phillies only move up one base. It hardly matters as the Phils crush the Astros, 12-0. Schmidt’s blast, if unimpeded, was estimated to travel 600 feet. 

1974 – Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt hits arguably the longest ball in Astrodome history although it is only a single. The ball strikes a speaker that hung from the roof of the Dome, 117 feet above centerfield and 300 feet from home plate, only to bounce back into play as a live ball.  Although the bases are full, confused Phillies only move up one base. It hardly matters as the Phils crush the Astros, 12-0. Schmidt’s blast, if unimpeded, was estimated to travel 600 feet. 

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2015 – Despite a 5-for-5 night from George Springer and five shutout innings from Vincent Velasquez in his major league debut, the Astros fall to the White Sox, 4-1, for their seventh straight defeat. Up by six games in the AL West the week before, Houston’s lead shrinks to two before regaining their balance. 

2015 – Despite a 5-for-5 night from George Springer and five shutout innings from Vincent Velasquez in his major league debut, the Astros fall to the White Sox, 4-1, for their seventh straight defeat. Up by six games in the AL West the week before, Houston’s lead shrinks to two before regaining their balance. 

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1998 – Former Expos Sean Berry and Moises Alou lead a 15-0 thrashing in Montreal. Alou homers and drives in five runs while Berry and Richard Hidalgo each deliver four hits. Derek Bell also belts a home run. Sean Bergman is the beneficiary as Houston tallies in six of the nine frames. 

1998 – Former Expos Sean Berry and Moises Alou lead a 15-0 thrashing in Montreal. Alou homers and drives in five runs while Berry and Richard Hidalgo each deliver four hits. Derek Bell also belts a home run. Sean Bergman is the beneficiary as Houston tallies in six of the nine frames. 

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1995 – “Play Ball” never sounded so good. The Astros open the strike-delayed season with a 10-2 victory in San Diego. Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell and Phil Plantier start the campaign with home runs. Doug Drabek works five innings for the win. Although over 41,000 attend, baseball’s attendance plummets as resentment over the strike lingers. 

1995 – “Play Ball” never sounded so good. The Astros open the strike-delayed season with a 10-2 victory in San Diego. Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell and Phil Plantier start the campaign with home runs. Doug Drabek works five innings for the win. Although over 41,000 attend, baseball’s attendance plummets as resentment over the strike lingers. 

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1981 – Bob Knepper tosses his second consecutive shutout, a 1-0 whitewash over Cincinnati. Denny Walling ‘s homer off Mario Soto accounts for the game’s only run. Walling also supplies a defensive gem, an over-the shoulder grab with two men aboard to thwart a Red threat. 

1981 – Bob Knepper tosses his second consecutive shutout, a 1-0 whitewash over Cincinnati. Denny Walling ‘s homer off Mario Soto accounts for the game’s only run. Walling also supplies a defensive gem, an over-the shoulder grab with two men aboard to thwart a Red threat. 

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2011 – After 11 seasons as one of the top Astro hitters in history, Lance Berkman returns for the first time as a St. Louis Cardinal. Welcomed with mostly applause, Berkman rips a go-ahead double in the ninth only to see Houston bounce back for a 6-5 triumph. Bill Hall singles through the drawn-in infield for the game-winner. Brett Wallace, Berkman’s heir at first base, has three hits. Despite being last in the NL Central, the 9-14 Astros are just three games out of first. 

2011 – After 11 seasons as one of the top Astro hitters in history, Lance Berkman returns for the first time as a St. Louis Cardinal. Welcomed with mostly applause, Berkman rips a go-ahead double in the ninth only to see Houston bounce back for a 6-5 triumph. Bill Hall singles through the drawn-in infield for the game-winner. Brett Wallace, Berkman’s heir at first base, has three hits. Despite being last in the NL Central, the 9-14 Astros are just three games out of first. 

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1976 – The Astros host an exhibition game at the Louisiana Superdome, a 12-5 win over Minnesota, before just over 10,000 fans. Cliff Johnson stars with three hits, including a homer. Not built for baseball, New Orleans’ new dome creates a few problems such as a concrete warning track and football sidelines down the third base line. Hitters complain about poor visibility, causing an auxilliary scoreboard to be shut off.

1976 – The Astros host an exhibition game at the Louisiana Superdome, a 12-5 win over Minnesota, before just over 10,000 fans. Cliff Johnson stars with three hits, including a homer. Not built for baseball, New Orleans’ new dome creates a few problems such as a concrete warning track and football sidelines down the third base line. Hitters complain about poor visibility, causing an auxilliary scoreboard to be shut off.

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2013 – In their first official game as an American League franchise, the Astros spank the Rangers, 8-2, at Minute Maid Park. A three-run homer by Rick Ankiel breaks the game open. Erik Bedard backs Bud Norris with 3-1/3rd relief innings. The win is also the managerial debut for Bo Porter. 

2013 – In their first official game as an American League franchise, the Astros spank the Rangers, 8-2, at Minute Maid Park. A three-run homer by Rick Ankiel breaks the game open. Erik Bedard backs Bud Norris with 3-1/3rd relief innings. The win is also the managerial debut for Bo Porter. 

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2004 – Lefthander Jeriome Robertson is dealt to the Cleveland Indians for two minor league outfielders, Willy Taveras and Luke Scott. Taveras had been claimed by Houston in the Rule V draft but had been waived and returned to Cleveland before the trade. Robertson had a 15-9 rookie season in Houston but found himself out of the rotation after the Astros snared Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens in free agency. 

2004 – Lefthander Jeriome Robertson is dealt to the Cleveland Indians for two minor league outfielders, Willy Taveras and Luke Scott. Taveras had been claimed by Houston in the Rule V draft but had been waived and returned to Cleveland before the trade. Robertson had a 15-9 rookie season in Houston but found himself out of the rotation after the Astros snared Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens in free agency. 

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1983 – Astros deal catcher Alan Knicely to Cincinnati for pitcher Bill Dawley and outfielder Tony Walker. Another in the long line of catching prospects, Knicely bats .197 over parts of four seasons.

1983 – Astros deal catcher Alan Knicely to Cincinnati for pitcher Bill Dawley and outfielder Tony Walker. Another in the long line of catching prospects, Knicely bats .197 over parts of four seasons.

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2011 – X-rays reveal that shortstop Clint Barmes has a broken left hand after it was hit the night before in an exhibition game against the Yankees. The initial diagnosis is 4-to-6 weeks of healing needed, which will cause him to miss the first month of the season. 

2011 – X-rays reveal that shortstop Clint Barmes has a broken left hand after it was hit the night before in an exhibition game against the Yankees. The initial diagnosis is 4-to-6 weeks of healing needed, which will cause him to miss the first month of the season. 

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1999 – Roger Clemens tosses six innings of no-hit ball but the Astros storm back to topple the New York Yankees, 7-5. Clemens had been the subject of intense trade talks during the off-season as the Astros tried to swing a swap with the Toronto Blue Jays to bring the multiple Cy Young Award winner home to Texas. Ultimately, Clemens was sent to New York. 

1999 – Roger Clemens tosses six innings of no-hit ball but the Astros storm back to topple the New York Yankees, 7-5. Clemens had been the subject of intense trade talks during the off-season as the Astros tried to swing a swap with the Toronto Blue Jays to bring the multiple Cy Young Award winner home to Texas. Ultimately, Clemens was sent to New York. 

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1977 – Astros obtain outfielder Willie Crawford and infielder Rob Sperring from San Francisco for infielder Rob Andrews. After the season, outfielder Art Gardner is sent to the Giants to complete the deal. 

1977 – Astros obtain outfielder Willie Crawford and infielder Rob Sperring from San Francisco for infielder Rob Andrews. After the season, outfielder Art Gardner is sent to the Giants to complete the deal. 

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1968 – Future Astro teammates Shane Reynolds and Jose Vizcaino are born. Reynolds is born in Bastrop, LA. Vizcaino is delivered in San Cristobal, DR. They would play together in Houston for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

1968 – Future Astro teammates Shane Reynolds and Jose Vizcaino are born. Reynolds is born in Bastrop, LA. Vizcaino is delivered in San Cristobal, DR. They would play together in Houston for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

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2009 – After winning their first spring game of the year, the Astros fail to win their next 19 Grapefruit League contests until beating the Reds, 4-2, behind six shutout innings from Russ Ortiz. It comes the same day that the Astros sign catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez to a one-year deal. The 37-year-old Rodriguez is a 14-time All-Star with 13 Gold Gloves and fills a need as none of the other catchers in camp were hitting above .200 in spring action. 

2009 – After winning their first spring game of the year, the Astros fail to win their next 19 Grapefruit League contests until beating the Reds, 4-2, behind six shutout innings from Russ Ortiz. It comes the same day that the Astros sign catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez to a one-year deal. The 37-year-old Rodriguez is a 14-time All-Star with 13 Gold Gloves and fills a need as none of the other catchers in camp were hitting above .200 in spring action. 

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1994 – Both teams train in Florida, yet the Astros and Rangers spar in a two-game series at the Astrodome as part of their in-state rivalry. Tony Eusebio is the hero in a 6-5 victory, driving in Luis Gonzalez with an eighth-inning double. Astro nemesis Will Clark delivers the game-winner for the Rangers the following day. It’s the first Dome visit for new Houston manager Terry Collins. Afterwards, both teams fly back to Florida. 

1994 – Both teams train in Florida, yet the Astros and Rangers spar in a two-game series at the Astrodome as part of their in-state rivalry. Tony Eusebio is the hero in a 6-5 victory, driving in Luis Gonzalez with an eighth-inning double. Astro nemesis Will Clark delivers the game-winner for the Rangers the following day. It’s the first Dome visit for new Houston manager Terry Collins. Afterwards, both teams fly back to Florida. 

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1987 – A sign of things to come. Astros lose their home spring opener to Montreal, 19-3. Bob Knepper and Jeff Heathcock are knocked silly before the bullpen comes to the rescue. Five Houston errors worsen the mood. Knepper would slump from a 17-12 1986 season to 8-17 the next year, his ERA climbing by over two runs. 

1987 – A sign of things to come. Astros lose their home spring opener to Montreal, 19-3. Bob Knepper and Jeff Heathcock are knocked silly before the bullpen comes to the rescue. Five Houston errors worsen the mood. Knepper would slump from a 17-12 1986 season to 8-17 the next year, his ERA climbing by over two runs. 

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