HOUSTON -- Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, who came to Minute Maid Park leading the American League in batting average (.399), home runs (18) and RBIs (45), will certainly be a focal point of the Astros during this weekend's Lone Star Series.
Astros manager Brad Mills said it's difficult to simply pitch around Hamilton, especially when he was the only left-handed hitter in the Rangers' lineup Friday against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez.
"It's kind of tough to say, 'Hey, we're going to pitch around the only lefty in their lineup," Mills said. "Tonight, that's tough to do, but when a guy is hot like he has been in the last couple of weeks, it makes you think anyway."
Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer is amazed at what Hamilton has been able to accomplish so far this season. Hamilton's 18 homers are the most by any player in Major League history through 31 games.
"It's ridiculous," Schafer said. "The season he's had so far, a lot of people would be happy with 18 homers and 40 RBIs in a season. What he's doing right now is unbelievable."
Sosa's rights sold to Korean baseball club
HOUSTON -- Right-hander Henry Sosa, who made 10 starts for the Astros last year after coming over in a trade with the San Francisco Giants in July, had his rights sold to the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. The move was made with Sosa's consent.
Sosa was 2-0 with a 5.12 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. The 26-year-old is out of options and could become a Minor League free agent at the end of the season if he's not on the 40-man roster.
The Astros acquired Sosa and relief pitcher Jason Stoffel from the Giants in exchange for infielder Jeff Keppinger prior to last year's Trade Deadline. Sosa went 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 10 starts for the Astros last year, allowing 54 hits and 23 walks while striking out 38 batters in 53 1/3 innings.
Stoffel, 23 has shown some promise. He's 0-1 with a 1.59 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched at Double-A Corpus Christi.