HOUSTON -- Geoff Blum made his fourth start of the season at shortstop on Sunday against Cubs right-hander Randy Wells, but it was his third start at the position in a six-game span. Blum entered the game hitting .265 (22-for-83) against right-handers, with starting shortstop Tommy Manzella struggling against right-handers at .147 (17-for-116).
"There are still some issues, and I'm trying to match up a little bit maybe as well. With Blummer, getting Blummer in there against some matchups I think would be good for him and, of course, good for us as well as a team," manager Brad Mills said.
Blum, who has made 21 starts overall this year, doesn't plan to change his approach despite getting more starts at shortstop.
"I take ground balls at shortstop all the time and just try to stay in shape," he said. "[Mills] hinted early in the spring I might be getting in against tough righties and giving Tommy a break. He does a pretty good job telling us where we're playing the day before, so my job is to be ready anytime, anywhere."
Norris will go on rehab assignment
HOUSTON -- Right-hander Bud Norris, on the disabled list since May 24 with bursitis and biceps tendinitis, won't travel with the Astros on their three-city road trip to Colorado, New York and Kansas City. He will instead go on a Minor League rehab stint at Triple-A Round Rock.
"I want to get out there and test it," said Norris, who had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder when he was placed on the DL.
Norris will throw 45-50 pitches in a simulated game on Monday in Round Rock and is scheduled to make the first of two rehab starts on Saturday in New Orleans. His second rehab start is tentatively scheduled for June 17 at Iowa.
"The swelling is a lot better, and the pain has definitely gone away," he said. "I've got to get out there and see how it feels on the game mound and really let it go."
Norris, who threw twice in the bullpen this week at Minute Maid Park, is 2-5 with a 6.80 ERA in nine starts this year for the Astros.
Quintero enjoying best offensive start
HOUSTON -- Humberto Quintero, who has taken over as the Astros' starting catcher since the departure of J.R. Towles, is having the best offensive season of his career. He began Sunday hitting .234 with two homers and was hitting .250 in June.
Hitting coach Sean Berry isn't surprised.
"He's got a lot of ability, which I don't think people really give him credit for," he said. "He's very strong, and he's got that fire sometimes underneath to stay within himself. He wasn't trying to hit a home run [Saturday], but he's so strong that sometimes happens."
Quintero, who went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer Saturday, hit safely in 15 of his past 21 games entering Sunday.
"I've been working with Sean Berry," Quintero said. "He wanted me to move the tee up so I can hit the ball [level], and we worked on it, and I got a good swing and tried to hit he ball hard."
Feliz heating up at plate
HOUSTON -- After struggling for the first two months of the season, Astros third baseman Pedro Feliz has begun June on a tear. Feliz entered Sunday hitting .368 (7-for-19) in June to raise his batting average to .229, which was the highest it had been since May 12 (.231).
"I know he's been doing a lot of extra work on some mechanics and playing with his swing a lot," manager Brad Mills said. "I think a combination of all those things and maybe more confidence has probably helped him out. That's the biggest thing."
Feliz carried a seven-game hitting streak into Sunday's game, during which he was batting .417 (10-for-24). It's his longest hitting streak since hitting in eight straight games last July when he was with the Phillies.
Feliz has alternated between sixth and seventh in the batting order during the past week, but his surge at the plate coincides with Nos. 3-5 hitters Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence all having great months at the plate, as well.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.