HOU@MIN: Peacock strikes out 10 over seven innings

HOUSTON -- For the second time in a week, an impressive spot start after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City may net an Astros pitcher a shot in the starting rotation.

Righty Brad Peacock tossed seven innings of three-run ball while striking out a career-high 10 in a 3-2 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, prompting manager Bo Porter not to rule out a full-time starting spot for him down the stretch.

"We're going to deal with the next three days, when we already have scheduled starters," Porter said. "It's an ongoing conversation with myself, [pitching coach] Doug Brocail and [general manager] Jeff [Luhnow]. When we come out of the off-day Thursday, we're going to reset the rotation moving forward from there."

That off-day means Peacock's next outing likely wouldn't be for another week if he gets the starting nod.

Brett Oberholtzer is getting his chance in the rotation after locking down the Orioles last week, leaving only lefty Dallas Keuchel's spot potentially up for grabs with Jordan Lyles, Erik Bedard and Jarred Cosart entrenched as starters after Bud Norris was traded to Baltimore.

In two stints with Houston earlier this year, Peacock was rough around the edges, going 1-3 with an 8.07 ERA in nine appearances (five starts). That led to a lengthy stint in Triple-A, where fastball command was the top priority.

"He was leaving a lot of fastballs up in the zone when he was here," Porter said. "Yesterday, he not only pounded the zone from a strike standpoint, but he pounded the bottom of the zone. When you have his kind of velocity, it makes his breaking stuff that much better, especially down near the knees.

"He did a good job working on his slider, and it complements the breaking ball he has. You then get a tough combination of the curve and slider and mix that in with the changeup, so he can be great."

No timetable on when Martinez will return to lineup

OAK@HOU: Martinez's grounder pushes across Maxwell

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez started their recent road trip with the team, but he finished it on his couch.

So it's safe to say that Martinez, who sprained his left wrist on July 26 against Toronto, was happy to rejoin his teammates in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Red Sox.

"I wasn't able to finish the trip with the team," Martinez said. "I've been bored going crazy with nothing to do, just sitting around when I'm not working out. It's nice to shoot the crap and catch up with everybody."

Manager Bo Porter said Martinez will do his rehab in Houston, but it's unclear if the 25-year-old will need a Minor League rehab stint before coming off the disabled list for a second time this season.

"I haven't had time to sit down with [trainer] Nate [Lucero} and map out his progress, but I know J.D.'s working hard and he'll be around the park while we're here," Porter said.

Martinez said the team's medical staff is playing the injury "by ear" and gave a rough timetable for dealing with the sprain.

"They said if you have to put a time frame on it, usually you can start swinging the bat after two weeks and then maybe be game ready two weeks after that," Martinez said. "The day I'll be able to do my exercises without pain is when I'll know I'm ready to swing."

According to that progression, Martinez would be taking batting practice by this weekend and potentially be ready for game action by late August.

However, Martinez could find himself part of a suddenly crowded Astros outfield when he returns to health despite Justin Maxwell's recent departure via trade.

Robbie Grossman is hitting almost .500 since being called up in Martinez's place, Trevor Crowe is nearly finished with his rehab stint after a shoulder injury in late June, Brandon Barnes is entrenched in center and Chris Carter is the team's best power bat.