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CHC@HOU: Wandy gives the Astros seven strong frames

Pitchers pinch-hitting, outfielders playing the infield -- don't put anything past the Royals as they look to even their three-game series with the Astros on Tuesday night.

That's because Kansas City is carrying only 11 position players until Thursday, an off-day, after overworking the bullpen arms over the weekend. Royals relievers threw 15 1/3 innings Saturday and Sunday, so they brought up two arms in Louis Coleman and Tommy Hottovy and placed Chris Getz on the disabled list with a lateral strain in his lower leg.

Until the Royals can rework their roster, manager Ned Yost is planning for anything. He said relievers Tim Collins and Greg Holland were athletic enough to play the field, mentioned Jonathan Broxton as a pinch-hitting possibility and will have to get creative with only three true infielders on the active roster.

"We're going to have to resort to some extraordinary measures," Yost said. "But I think we can cover it."

The Royals will have to cover it against a tough starting pitcher Tuesday, as Houston sends Wandy Rodriguez to the mound. Rodriguez is 3-0 in his last five starts, albeit with a 5.72 ERA and 42 hits allowed in 28 1/3 innings. By comparison, he allowed only 51 hits in his first 60 1/3 innings, spanning nine starts.

While Rodriguez hasn't been his usual dominant self in June, posting a 7.16 ERA in three starts after entering the month with a 2.49 mark, he has at least continued to help out his bullpen. The left-hander has pitched at least five innings in 43 consecutive outings, the third-longest active streak in the Majors behind CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander.

Rodriguez admitted after his last start Thursday that his shoulder grew tired toward the end of his six-inning outing, but he didn't expect it to be an issue going forward.

"I can pitch my next start," Rodriguez said Thursday. "It's only like I felt it today, a little bit tired. Nothing that's a problem."

Royals: Hochevar coming off strong outing
• Right-hander Luke Hochevar had his longest outing of the season Thursday against the Brewers, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing three runs in a no-decision. He struck out five and walked only one, taking a shutout into the sixth and needing only 87 pitches to get through the longest outing by a Royals starter this season.

Hochevar is 3-7 with a 6.27 ERA on the year, though he has fared better on the road, with a 3-3 record and 4.61 ERA in seven outings away from Kauffman Stadium.

• Getz should be ready to play in 7-10 days, but Yost said the Royals couldn't wait that long for him to get healthy, so he went back on the DL only six days after coming off it. Getz previously missed 17 games with a left rib-cage contusion, and he will be out this time until at least July 3.

Astros: Crane would welcome Clemens back to Astros
• Owner Jim Crane said Monday that he hoped to speak to Roger Clemens, who signed a 10-year personal services contract with the Astros that kicked in when his career ended. Clemens, found not guilty Monday of all charges at his federal perjury trial in Washington, pitched for the Astros from 2004-06 and retired after the 2007 season.

"I'm happy he got a good result, and we look forward to talking to him soon," Crane said. "Any time you get a Roger Clemens in the mix, you'd have to welcome him back with open arms."

• Houston officially signed pitcher Lance McCullers, the 41st overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, on Tuesday. McCullers received a signing bonus of $2.5 million, nearly double the slot value of the $1.258 million assigned to the 41st pick.

• Astros pitcher Bud Norris, on the 15-day DL with a sprained left knee, threw a bullpen session Monday, felt good and could begin a rehab assignment by the end of the week.

Worth noting
• Yost said after Monday's game that left-hander Bruce Chen will start Wednesday's series finale against the Astros instead of right-hander Vin Mazzaro, whose next start was moved to Friday against St. Louis at home.

• Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has 29 multihit games this season after going 2-for-4 on Monday and raising his average on the year to .320. Comments