The Astros claimed infielder Matt Downs off waivers from the Giants on Wednesday and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock, where he will report beginning Thursday.
Downs was designated for assignment by the Giants on Sunday to make room for newly acquired outfielder Cody Ross. The 26-year-old appeared in 29 games starting 18, all at second base for San Francisco, batting .244 (19-for-78) with a homer and seven RBIs.
During the last two months, Downs toiled in the Minors, where he hit a combined .255 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 58 games with Triple-A Fresno and the Rookie League Giants in Arizona.
A 36th-round Draft pick by the Giants in 2006, Downs has played in 46 Major League games the last two years, batting .214 with a .291 on-base percentage. His career Minor League batting average is an even .300.