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09/14/09 6:30 PM ET
Feverish Valverde not on Astros' trip
With closer in Houston, Hawkins could net saves vs. Reds
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Astros closer Jose Valverde could rejoin the team Tuesday after being allowed to miss the team charter to Cincinnati on Sunday night because of an illness. Astros general manager Ed Wade said Valverde was kept sequestered in the clubhouse on Sunday in Houston after coming down with a 101-degree fever. Valverde was examined Monday by the team physician, Dr. Jim Muntz, who ruled out strep throat. "They're treating him, and he has some type of virus," Wade said. "Hopefully it will run its course and he will be able to get here [Tuesday]." Valverde has not allowed a run in 17 innings over his past 15 outings, the longest active streak in the National League and tied for the second-longest in the Major Leagues. He has a 1.13 ERA with 21 saves and four wins in 38 appearances since coming off the 15-day disabled list June 13. Valverde missed 41 games with a right calf strain. With Valverde back in Houston, the closing duties on Monday belonged to LaTroy Hawkins, who has saved 11 games this year, most of which came when Valverde was on the DL. Hawkins has not allowed a run in 15 of his past 18 appearances.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.