John­son con­tin­ues catch-up suc­cess

Ex­press call-up has an­other 4-hit game as Astros win

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

MIL­WAU­KEE — Chris John­son starred dur­ing spring train­ing be­fore his fast start was de­railed by an early-sea­son in­jury.

Now, he ap­pears to be back from the mi­nor leagues for good.

John­son had his sec­ond four-hit game in five tries and led the Hous­ton Astros to a 51 vic­tory over the Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers on Wed­nes­day.

“To watch C.J. put up with some of the stuff he’s had to, and not got­ten up­set, he came up here and took ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity,” said Geoff Blum, who went 2 for 2 with two walks and three runs scored. “It’s fun to watch.”

John­son led the Grape­fruit League with eight home runs and 22 RBIs, and made the Astros out of spring train­ing. He strained a right in­ter­costal mus­cle and was placed on the dis­abled list on April 20. He was sent to Triple-A Round Rock when he re­cov­ered in starred in spring train­ing, then got in­jured. May.

He bat­ted .329 with 10 dou­bles, eight home runs and 33 RBIs in 38 games at Round Rock, and was re­called by the Astros on June 22.

Since then, he has gone 12 for 29 (.414) with three dou­bles and six RBIs in seven starts at third base.

“I try and do the same thing I did there (in Triple A),” he said. “That’s what got me here. I’m try­ing to stay within my­self and take what­ever the pitcher gives me. It’s work­ing out.”

The Astros got a strong start from Wandy Ro­driguez, who gave up only one run in seven in­nings and ex­e­cuted a per­fect sui­cide squeeze bunt to snap a tie in the sixth in­ning.

Ro­driguez (5-10) won his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive start af­ter a stretch in which he lost six of seven. The left-han­der held the Brew­ers to 1 for 10 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, giv­ing up one run and seven hits. He struck out six and is­sued one in­ten­tional walk.

“He got into key sit­u­a­tions where he re­ally beared down and made some good pitches,” Astros catcher Ja­son Cas­tro said.

The Astros (31-48) have won nine con­sec­u­tive games on Wed­nes­days, im­prov­ing their over­all record on that day to 10-3.

Chris John­son

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