HOUSTON -- Astros catcher J.R. Towles is still a few days away from being able to put on a catcher's mask and get behind the plate. Towles had to get 11 stitches in his chin after a foul ball struck him in the mask on Friday and cut his chin.

Towles, who is available to pinch-hit, has been tinkering with some extra padding on the mask, as well as trying out a different type of mask. But until Towles' jaw starts to feel better, he won't be getting behind the plate.

"My jaw is more swollen than anything and that's what is bothering me," Towles said. "I can't bite down all the way. As far as the stitching in the chin, it's a little sore. Other than that, it's fine. Trying to get a mask to where it doesn't rub me is another issue."

Astros manager Brad Mills said it will be up to Towles to decide when he can get behind the dish.

"I know we've talked about a different type of mask. He's going to try one out and some different types of bandages so the mask doesn't come in contact with it," Mills said. "That will all dictate how quickly he's going to be able to come back."

Bourn stealing way into Astros' record book

HOUSTON -- One game shy of the midpoint of the season, Astros center fielder Michael Bourn is on pace to break the club's single-season stolen-base record of 65, set by Gerald Young in 1988. Bourn leads the Major Leagues with 34 steals.

The biggest challenge for Bourn will be keeping his body from getting banged up from the wear and tear of playing in the field and running the bases, where he has the green light the majority of the time to steal a base.

"I feel pretty good so far," he said. "I feel like I have been doing a lot of running. Every now and then, I feel it in my legs and I'm careful in what I'm doing. I maybe take it easy in batting practice while running and work on whatever I'm doing so I can save it for the game because that's the most important part."

Astros manager Brad Mills is sensitive to the physical demands of playing center field and hitting leadoff and isn't shy about giving Bourn a day off against lefties on occasion. He was in the lineup on Tuesday against Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson and went 2-for-3 against him. Bourn is hitting .309 (17-for-55) in his last 25 games against lefties.

"When we do have a long stretch of games, trying to get him a day [off] here or there is important," Mills said. "So far, he's been able to work through it."

Bourgeois on the DL with strained quad

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed Jason Bourgeois on the 15-day disabled list after the outfielder left Tuesday night's game against the Rangers with a right quadriceps injury.

Bourgeois, who left after six innings, said he had been running at 85 to 90 percent since his leg first bothered him last week at Texas. He said he thought he would only be out for six or seven days immediately after the game, but the club made the move shortly thereafter.

"Today, it kind of grabbed at me pretty good," Bourgeois said. "My game is my legs, so I need them."

Bench coach Al Pedrique, who took over for an ejected Brad Mills, said Bourgeois felt the pain when he tried to run out a ground ball in the fifth inning of the Astros' 7-3 loss.

  • 131 wins
  • 121 wins

"Getting close to first base, that's when he felt something going on," Pedrique said. "So that's why he came out of the game."

The Astros recalled outfielder Brian Bogusevic from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Bourgeois, who already missed 25 games after straining his left oblique earlier this season.

"I'm not sure what kind of route I'm going to take from here," Bourgeois said.

Quintero to begin rehab assignment Friday

HOUSTON -- The All-Star break provides every team with rest, but for Houston, it means getting closer to full strength.

Humberto Quintero said he plans to rejoin the Astros after the break following an eight-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Quintero, who went on the disabled list on May 28 with a right ankle sprain, said he plans to join Oklahoma City in Memphis on Friday, exactly one week after J.R. Towles took a foul tip off the chin and received 11 stitches.

Quintero participated in catching drills before team batting practice on Tuesday.

"Everything's good," Quintero said. "I feel 100 percent. I feel like I'm in good shape."

Carlos Corporan has spelled Towles and Quintero, catching in 15 games this month, including Tuesday night against the Rangers. The Astros have been so depleted at the position they brought another catcher, Brian Esposito, to the Majors on June 25.