04/22/11 9:45 PM ET
Mills, Arnsberg ejected against Brewers
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
Arnsberg was walking off the mound after talking to starting pitcher Nelson Figueroa when he was ejected by home-plate umpire Paul Schrieber, perhaps for arguing balls and strikes. Arnsberg got in the face of the umpire, bringing Mills out from the dugout.
Mills argued with second-base umpire Joe West, the crew chief, and was eventually given his second ejection of the season. Mills was ejected April 10 against the Marlins after an Astros pitcher hit a batter after both teams had been warned. Mills was later fined and suspended one game.
Barmes to begin rehab assignment Monday
MILWAUKEE -- The Astros have tweaked the rehab schedule of shortstop Clint Barmes, citing logistics. Barmes, who broke his hand four weeks ago when he was hit by a pitch in Spring Training, will begin his Triple-A rehab assignment on Monday instead of Sunday as originally planned.
Barmes will play Monday and Tuesday for the RedHawks in Round Rock, Texas, before traveling to Midland for a game Wednesday and possibly Thursday for the Astros' Double-A Corpus Christi affiliate. If all goes well, he could be activated next weekend.
"I'm definitely excited about getting out on the field and playing," said Barmes, who took batting practice on the field Friday for the first time. "The last few days swinging in New York, I felt great. I hadn't had any pain hitting or fielding or catching, so we're on schedule with what we had originally talked about. I just want to get as many at-bats as I can in four days."
Barmes was originally scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Sunday, but he wouldn't have been able to get to Round Rock on time to do any work on the field Saturday. He'll instead fly back with the Astros on Sunday to Houston and then go to Round Rock.
"It just makes more sense to get that extra day of work here, go back with the club and meet up with the team on Monday," he said.
Barmes has been wearing a protective pad atop the battling glove on his left hand, which he's broken twice in his career. It's not quite as big as the pad Jeff Bagwell used to wear, but it has a hard shell on the outside.
"I'm used to it," he said. "It's light and it doesn't bother me hitting at all."
Hall returns to Astros' starting lineup
MILWAUKEE -- Astros second baseman Bill Hall, who sprained his ankle running into a wall at Citi Field on Wednesday, was back in the starting lineup Friday -- just in time to make his return to Miller Park. Hall played more than seven seasons with the Brewers before being traded in 2009.
Friday's game against the Brewers marked Hall's first game at Miller Park since Aug. 11, 2009, the day before he was traded. Hall, who homered in that game, was a career .266 hitter with 60 homers and 209 RBIs in 422 games at Miller Park entering Friday.
"I spent a lot of time here," Hall said. "I'm proud to say I was part of the team that helped turn this organization around. It's always a different feeling when you come back to a place you played so long and know so many people. I'm also here to win. I'm an Astro now, and once I step between the lines, hopefully all of that will be out of the way and I can go back to playing baseball."
Hall was unsure of how he'd be received by the fans, but he got a nice round of applause when introduced during pregame lineups.
"I felt like I made a good impression," Hall said. "Obviously, things didn't always go well, but I never gave up and if they can appreciate me playing hard, maybe I'll get some cheers."
Hall is one of five Astros who played with the Brewers: Jason Bourgeois (2009); Nelson Figueroa (2002); Joe Inglett (2010); and Carlos Lee (2005-06). Bullpen coach Jamie Quirk played with the Brewers in 1977.
Astros begin long stretch vs. NL Central foes
MILWAUKEE -- Friday was the first of 18 consecutive games the Astros will play against fellow National League Central teams. That is the longest stretch the Astros will have this year against teams in their own division.
"Every game's important, but when you are within your own division, they kind of [take on added importance]," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "I'm saying that without putting more pressure on us. When it's said and done, when you've got a chance to make up or lose a full game, that's important. It makes it more fun, too."
Last year, the Astros went 45-33 against NL Central foes, winning the season series against every team in the division except the division-champion Reds (5-10). Houston will play the Cardinals and Brewers at home next week before traveling to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Reds come to Houston from May 9-11.
Entering Friday, the Astros had lost 24 of their last 28 games against the Brewers at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won six of their first nine games against the Brewers last year before losing four of their final six against Milwaukee.
Right-hander Wilton Lopez, who's on the disabled list with a nerve irritation in his elbow, played catch for eight minutes at between 60 and 75 feet on Friday. ... Jeff Keppinger, who underwent surgery in January to remove a bone in his left foot, went 1-for-4 as the designated hitter Friday during a game in extended spring training.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.