Muting the enjoyment of a victorious Sunday was the fact that the Astros will have to spend the first extended time without one of their key players. Before the 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, the Astros placed Carlos Lee on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and called up Brett Wallace from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
It's the second disabled list move in two days, with Travis Buck going on the DL Saturday, but it's the first for a starter since Jed Lowrie opened the season on the DL, missing just six games. And it's only the second time Lee has landed on the disabled list in his 14-year career, the first being when he was hit in the hand by a pitch in 2008.
"I'm not healthy," said Lee, who will be re-evaluated later in the week to make sure it's nothing more serious than a strain. "But I can walk better now and I can get a little more strength, so I guess it's improving."
Lee was walking better by Sunday, but the injury wasn't going to heal until at least a week from now, Brad Mills thought, so he didn't want to play shorthanded that long. So Wallace arrived in time for Sunday's game and went 2-for-3 in his start at first base, where he will get the bulk of the playing time.
Never able to get a power stroke going in the major leagues, Wallace has been working on that aspect of his game at the Triple-A level. In 50 games for Oklahoma City, Wallace hit 10 home runs and slugged .476.
"I had a chance to go down and get a lot of at-bats work on things and I feel really good with where I'm at right now," Wallace said. "It was a process, but I got consistent at-bats and feel really good."