Justin Maxwell expected to miss 4-6 weeks

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Justin Maxwell fractured his left hand in Tuesday’s game and the Astros announced today that he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks. In his place the Astros have turned to prospect Robbie Grossman as their starting center fielder.

Maxwell was all about power and range, which helped cancel out a .230 batting average, .301 on-base percentage, and poor plate discipline. Grossman is a much different player, offering excellent patience at the plate and very good on-base percentages along with little power and questionable range in center field.

Long term Grossman probably doesn’t have much chance of sticking as a center fielder, but this does give him an opportunity to impress for the next month and perhaps work his way into the Astros’ plans alongside Maxwell.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.