SEA@HOU: Laird's three-run homer breaks the game open

OAKLAND -- There were fresh faces all around the Astros' clubhouse Sunday morning.

Four players were recalled Saturday from Triple-A Oklahoma City: right-handers Rhiner Cruz and David Martinez, infielder Brandon Laird and utility man Jimmy Paredes.

Cruz was 1-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 41 2/3 innings for the RedHawks. It's his second stint with the Astros this year.

"Cruz got sent down then did a tremendous job and got better and better and better as the year went on," manager Bo Porter said.

Martinez spent most of the year with Double-A Corpus Christi before being promoted to Oklahoma City in mid-August. At the two levels combined, he went 14-4 with a 2.57 ERA in 140 1/3 innings over 29 appearances (21 starts).

The plan is for Martinez to be used in long relief and for Cruz to make spot relief appearances.

Laird batted .277 with 16 home runs and a club-leading 79 RBIs for Oklahoma City.

"We wanted to get a right-handed bat off the bench," Porter said. "He provides us with that right-handed bat."

Paredes hit .287 with 21 doubles and 16 stolen bases, appearing at shortstop (20 games), third base (20), second base (3) and in the outfield (35).

"You look at the season that Paredes put together," Porter said. "He's obviously a guy that has conquered Triple-A. He's done everything that a person can do there. We're going to continue to give him an opportunity here."

Paredes is in his fourth stint with the Astros this season. The three other callups are in their second stint.

Clemens out with blister, expects to make next start

HOU@CWS: Clemens solid in first Major League start

OAKLAND -- Starting pitcher Paul Clemens was scratched from Sunday's series finale against the A's because of a blister on his right middle finger.

The right-hander was disappointed but expects to make his next start. A little more than two hours before first pitch, the Astros decided that the blister could get worse if he pitched.

"The training staff thought it would be best to skip this start," Clemens said. "Three days ago is when I felt it. The skin was getting a little sensitive. It swelled up, got a little fat and it turned into a little bit of a blister. Before we rip it open and split it, we thought it would be best to give it a couple of days."

Clemens is 4-4 with a 5.91 ERA. Right-hander Lucas Harrell replaced Clemens in Sunday's 7-2 loss.

"It's tough," Clemens said. "It's tough having to have someone pick you up today. I pride myself on staying away from that DL and missing time. ... But instead of missing three or four starts, go ahead and miss one and hopefully finish the season."

Worth noting

• Catcher Jason Castro was out of the starting lineup Sunday because of soreness in his right knee. He missed three games after having a cyst drained Tuesday, and he played Friday and Saturday.