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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Baseball

Mayor waves Astros home for weekend series


After being forced to play three home games in St. Petersburg, Fla. in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Astros announced Wednesday that the team will return to Minute Maid Park on Saturday for their home series against the New York Mets.

The team has been displaced since Aug. 28, when they could not return to Houston after finishing a series with the Los Angeles Angels. Houston spent their off-day Monday in Arlington before learning they would play their three-game home series against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field — 1,002 miles from Minute Maid Park.

“With the cooperation of the Mayor’s Office, we are going to play baseball at Minute Maid Park this weekend,” Astros’ President Reid Ryan said in a team news release. “Along with Mayor Sylvester Turner, we hope that these games can serve as a welcomed distraction for our city that is going through a very difficult time. We hope that we can put smiles on some faces.”

Turner tweeted early Wednesday that he wanted the team to return to the city to help restore normalcy in citizen’s lives.

“We feel that the Astros playing this weekend will provide a much-needed boost for our city,” Turner said in the news release. “With all of the difficulties that many of our citizens are facing, the games will provide an opportunity for families to start returning to some aspect of normal life.”

Ryan wasted no time making the necessary arrangements to help the team return to Houston after nine days away from home.

Getting the team back for the Weekend series against the Mets is crucial as the players depart for an 11-day West Coast road trip Sunday afternoon. Without plans to come back for the weekend series, the Astros would have been displaced for 21 days by the time they return Sept. 15.

“Our players are human beings first and foremost. They have been away from their families and neighborhoods during this time of need,” Ryan said. “We want them to reunite with their families. They also know the role they play in providing hope and encouragement to our entire community — they are proud to represent Houston.”

The Astros will play a double-header at Minute Maid Park with the first game set to begin at 1:10 p.m. and the nightcap’s first pitch being thrown at 7:10 p.m. Sunday’s series finale will be played at at 1:10 p.m.

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