06/23/12 11:37 PM ET
Mills shifts Lee, Schafer in batting order
By Clark Goble and AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
He said the changes weren't a big deal.
"We're just trying to get guys that might be able to do something a little higher up to get more at-bats," Mills said.
Lee had not hit third since May 7, 2010. He only had 39 at-bats in the third slot in the lineup during his six seasons with the Astros, all coming in 2010.
Mills said he talked to Lee two weeks ago about the move. He also emphasized that the move wasn't all that important, considering Lee is still batting behind Jed Lowrie and in front of Brian Bogusevic like he has many times this season.
"To make a whole lot of noise about the numbers, I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do," Mills said.
Lee went 2-for-4 with two doubles on Saturday, picking up two RBIs.
The last time Schafer batted eighth was May 22 against the Cubs. On Saturday, he broke out of an 0-for-14 slump with a solo home run in the sixth. He went 1-for-3.
Mills said he and hitting coach Mike Barnett stayed late on Friday night to talk about how the Astros can bust out of their hitting slump. The team responded with eight runs in Saturday's victory.
Maxwell scratched with bone spurs in left ankle
HOUSTON -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell, dealing with bone spurs in his left ankle, was scratched from Saturday's lineup after he was initially slated to bat seventh and play in left field.
J.D. Martinez took Maxwell's spot in the lineup and the outfield. Manager Brad Mills made the decision after talking with Maxwell two hours before Saturday's first pitch.
In Mills' pregame media session, held before the decision to take Maxwell out of the lineup was announced, the manager said the Astros will have to pick and choose spots to play Maxwell based on how much discomfort he feels in the ankle on that given day.
Maxwell, who is batting .233/.326/.475 on the season, pinch-hit for pitcher Lucas Harrell in the seventh inning of Friday's game and worked a walk.
Norris goes five frames in Triple-A rehab start
Astros right-hander Bud Norris tossed five innings and allowed two runs in a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday.
On Saturday, he allowed three hits and three runs while striking out seven and earning the victory -- a 4-3 RedHawks win over Omaha.
Norris, who was placed on the DL last Sunday with a sprained knee, threw 75 pitches, 47 of which were strikes. The only two runs he allowed were back-to-back solo homers in the fourth inning.
"I felt pretty good out there," Norris said. "I'm just glad the leg feels 100 percent. I came down here to get healthy and I felt really good, so that's the No. 1 priority. Today was a day to get some work in, and I felt like I got some good work in."
Norris' DL stint is retroactive to June 12, when he made his last start and lasted just 3 1/3 innings against San Francisco. Norris is 5-4 this season with a 4.81 ERA.
Bud Norris will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City Saturday night. He is expected to throw 75-80 pitches. Norris was placed on the disabled list on June 17 (retroactive to June 12) with a sprained left knee.
Manager Brad Mills talked to Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco on Friday and stressed that while he wants Fernando Martinez to get at bats in his rehabilitation trip, he also wants the manager to do what's best for the ballclub.
Martinez went 0-for-2 on Friday in the sixth spot in the lineup. Martinez has been on the disabled list since June 9 with post-concussion syndrome.
Joel Osteen, a senior pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church, threw out Saturday's ceremonial first pitch as part of the Astros' annual Faith and Family Night. Christian rock band Third Day was set to hold a concert in Minute Maid after the game.