Reliever Hector Ambriz was back up with the Astros on Friday, having been recalled from Triple A Oklahoma City. As expected, the right-hander was pleased to be with the team.
“This is the big leagues,” said Ambriz. “Whenever you get called up it’s exciting.”
Ambriz, who pitched effectively the first two months of the season in short relief, is 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA for the Astros this season. Ambriz, who began the season with the Astros, had two saves in 39 appearances before being optioned to OKC on July 1.
In four relief appearances for the RedHawks, Ambriz allowed one earned run in five innings, earning a return to the Astros.
“They didn’t really tell me much,” said Ambriz. “Just go down there and pitch well and I’ll be back up soon. Luckily I was.”
Ambriz took the roster spot of left-handed long reliever Brett Oberholtzer, who was optioned to Oklahoma City prior to the All-Star break. Oberholtzer was recalled by the Astros when Ambriz was sent down to OKC.
On Friday, Astros manager Bo Porter said Ambriz was sent down to OKC more because of circumstances than because of his recent struggles with his fastball command.
“It was more about need than anything else,” said Porter. “Bullpen-wise, we needed a long guy (Oberholtzer). Ambriz had pitched three out of four days. It was one of those things he wasn’t going to be able to pitch for two days. (The) move was made out of need.
“Hector did a good job going down there. He got his work in and we’re happy to have him back.”