Astros: Hooks Send Eight to the AA All-Star Game

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Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman (82) bats during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman (82) bats during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pitching and Defense

With McCurry now in AAA with the Grizzlies, Aaron West is expected to take over the majority of the work in the closer’s role. McCurry and West have combined for 22 of the Hooks 33 saves this season. West picked up his ninth save this week, as did starter Cy Sneed. Sneed’s 10.46 strikeouts per nine innings suggest he might have enough “umph” to close the door at the end of games.

Francis Martes continues to show improvement with his command and his two outings this week gave Hooks fan plenty to smile about. In 12 innings Martes gave up just six hits and two walks while striking out 12. His one earned run this week brings his ERA down to 3.65, more than 60 points better than where he came into the week at 4.26. Like Martes, every Hooks starter except for Keegan Yuhl allowed two runs or less in each outing and threw at least five innings. If the staff can hold that mark going forward, the Hooks will keep winning the majority of their series in the second half.

Next: Astros to Promote Bregman and Hernandez After AA All-Star Game

Kent Emanuel and Michael Freeman ended the week with an exclamation point. After a rocky first inning for Emanuel in which he gave up two runs on four hits, he and Freeman would combine to allow just two hits in the final eight innings.

**Statistics provided by MiLB.com and Baseball Reference**

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