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Houston Astros News: May 18, 2017

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Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Houston Astros v Miami Marlins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Astros News

In fitting tribute to Jose Fernandez, Astros' Lance McCullers stymies Marlins

At 12:23 p.m. local time Wednesday, Lance McCullers Jr. jogged out of the first-base dugout, jumped across the base line and snatched the ball off the pitcher's mound. He then circled to the back of the hill and bent over briefly to inscribe a marking in the dirt before toeing the rubber and firing his first warmup pitch.

Miscues doom Marlins to shutout loss against Astros

Over and over during Miami’s game against Houston on Wednesday, the Marlins just couldn’t quite make plays when they needed to. There was a drop here. A strikeout there. A miscommunication somewhere else.

Charlie Morton’s Electric Stuff Has Never Been More Electric

Earlier in his career with the Pirates — and with the help of Jim Benedict and Ray Searage — Morton had dropped his arm slot and and adopted the two-seamer as his primary pitch. His new, and present, delivery reminded many of Roy Halladay.

Jose Altuve accomplishes rare statistical feat in Astros' win over Marlins

Jose Altuve's two-triple, two-double performance Wednesday wasn't only the first of its kind in Astros history, but the first in the majors since 2005.

GM Jeff Luhnow still expects Francis Martes to pitch for Astros this season

Over the winter, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow suggested top pitching prospect Francis Martes could follow a similar trajectory to Lance McCullers in 2015. McCullers debuted on May 18 that year, and save for a brief demotion to preserve his innings he spent the rest of the season in the major league rotation.

Astros reportedly looking for a starter and lefty reliever so here are some options

The first place Astros are red hot, and they're open to adding pieces in the coming weeks.

Almost Home

Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., is the kind of place parents send their kids to keep them out of trouble. The campus is small, tidy and relatively sleepy on the weekends for a college town. It also feels pretty remote.

Astros’ Blueprint The Right Stuff

There are some very nice surprises in baseball so far, you bet, from Yankee Stadium to Coors Field. The Houston Astros just don't happen to be one of them.

Around the League

Surging Brewers are in 1st, the Cubs and Cardinals are not

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball sees the Brewers are atop the NL Central, a ridiculous Angels-White Sox game, and the benches clearing in Atlanta.

Benches clear after latest Jose Bautista bat flip

Jose Bautista is at it again. The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder hit a solo home run and responded with a patented, epic bat flip on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves.

Adam Jones donated $20,000 to the Negro League Museum

The museum is important to Jones, and making sure it’s around for others is important to him, too.

The Best Teams Of Baseball’s 2015 Season Are Bums In 2017

Since the League Championship Series format began in 1969, it’s tough to find a “Final Four” of baseball that’s fallen on harder times two years later than 2015’s quartet of the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays.

Cool Kershaw: Benches clear, he warms up

Those who watch Clayton Kershaw up close know all about his no-nonsense approach to his profession. Everybody else got to see it Wednesday.