Former Phillie Ken Giles demoted after cursing at Astros manager

NBC Philadelphia/The Associated Press
NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Houston Astros have optioned reliever Ken Giles to Triple A Fresno, a night after he appeared to curse at manager A.J. Hinch when he was lifted from the game.

The Astros were up by four to start the ninth inning against Oakland on Tuesday night when Giles took over and gave up three straight singles, which cut the lead to 4-1.

Hinch came to the mound to take Giles out and the television broadcast caught the former Phillie appearing to curse at Hinch right after he walked by him on his way off the field.

It was the second major outburst of the year for the right-hander, who punched himself in the face as he left the mound after another bad performance earlier in the season.

The Phillies traded Giles to the Astros in 2015 for a haul of pitchers Vince Velasquez, Thomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer, Harold Arauz and former first overall pick Mark Appel.

Even with Giles' demotion, it's tough to say which team really won the trade. Giles has saved 61 games for the Astros but was wildly inconsistent during the team's 2017 World Series run, posting an uncharacteristic 11.74 ERA. His struggles have continued in 2018, as Giles has posted a 4.99 ERA in 34 appearances.

In parts of three seasons with the Astros, Giles' ERA has ballooned to 3.57, compared to 1.56 during his two seasons in red pinstripes. Still, Giles is just 27 years old and will surely be back in the majors at some point. How soon (and with what team) remains to be seen. Fortunately for the Astros, they can afford to send Giles down as a teaching lesson.

Houston went on to win Tuesday night's game 6-5 in 11 innings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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