SEA@HOU: Grossman makes a dazzling snag on Franklin

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Robbie Grossman is still a few days away from playing again. Grossman sustained a strained right oblique almost two weeks ago and missed his 13th consecutive game Tuesday night.

"I'm feeling a little better," Grossman said. "I'll probably swing [Wednesday] and go from there. I'll just hit some balls in the cage."

Grossman, who hurt the oblique taking a swing in a game, was not sure how soon he would be ready to take batting practice.

"It just depends on how I feel," Grossman said. "It's just frustrating, sitting and not being able to do anything to help the team."

Grossman, a switch hitter, is batting .268 in 63 games this season with four homers and 21 RBIs.

The Astros have played lately with Trevor Crowe in left, Brandon Barnes in center and L.J. Hoes in right most games.

Crowe did not start Tuesday night's game because manager Bo Porter wanted to give him a day's rest. Marc Krauss replaced Crowe in left field and Jimmy Paredes, who was called up Sept. 8, started in right.

Stassi to Instructional League before return to Astros

HOU@TEX: Stassi draws a painful RBI to tie game

HOUSTON -- Astros rookie catcher Max Stassi will fly to Kissimmee, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon to spend three days in the Astros' Instructional League. He will rejoin the Astros on Friday at Texas.

Stassi was called up to the Majors for the first time Aug. 20 after backup catcher Carlos Corporan suffered a concussion and was placed on the disabled list.

Stassi appeared in only two games with the Astros, both as the DH, before being hit in the face with a pitch Sept. 1 and suffering a concussion himself.

"I feel a lot better," Stassi said Tuesday. "I'll see some live pitching down there. I haven't seen any live pitching in three weeks."

The injury wiped out a good portion of his chance to show what he could do in the Major Leagues.

"I looked at the schedule and [the Astros] had 30 games left," Stassi said. "I wanted to make an impression. But I got hurt. I'm just looking forward to [getting a chance]. The speed of the game is a little quicker [than in the Minors].

"It was tough. I get up here, get the opportunity and I get hit in the head with that fastball. But everything happens for a reason. I DHed two games and next thing I know I'm in the hospital."

Stassi, like all Minor Leaguers, was hoping to get called up in September and was surprised when the Astros needed him sooner.

"It was unfortunate that Corporan got hurt," Stassi said. "The manager [Keith Bodie at Double-A Corpus Christi] called me. I was eating at a Sonic. Typical off-day in the Minor Leagues. He said, 'Pack your stuff, you're going to Arlington.' Twenty-four hours later, I'm in the lineup against the Texas Rangers."

Stassi's father flew in from Yuba City, Calif., to see his son play, and Max delivered two hits in six at-bats in two games.

"It was real exciting," Stassi said. "Hopefully I'll get back there again."

"Stassi is a player we're excited about," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He already showed some flashes in his brief time. It will be nice to get him back, even if it's just a few at-bats, a few games at the end of the season."