HOUSTON -- The Astros will play host to Heroes Night at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, which marks the 11-year observance since the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington and rural Pennsylvania. The team will honor first-responders and military personnel and give fans and players an opportunity to thank Houston's public servants for their dedication to protecting others.
The Astros will hold a pregame ceremony that will include Houston Mayor Annise Parker prior to the game against the Cubs. The ceremony will also include five first pitches thrown by five members of the first-response team sent from Houston to New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Earlier in the day, the Astros' Brian Bogusevic, Justin Maxwell and Chris Snyder and former Astros player Jose Cruz will visit different area firehouses. The players will sign autographs and present a framed, autographed jersey to firefighters as a thank you for their service.
The firehouse visits are closed to the public.
Clemens says he'd only pitch against contender
HOUSTON -- With Roger Clemens having pretty much ruled out a comeback this year, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday he doesn't expect the seven-time Cy Young Award winner to play for Houston anytime soon.
"Right now, we have a six-man rotation and we've planned our rotation for the rest of the year," Luhnow said. "I'm not expecting any changes. The words I've heard Roger say suggest that's not front and center in his mind. At this point, I'm not expecting anything."
Astros owner Jim Crane said he hadn't talked to Clemens recently, but added that if Clemens did return to pitch for the Astros, it would have to be in games against non-contenders. That would mean pitching against the Cubs or Phillies this homestand, considering the Astros' final homestand is against the Pirates and Cardinals.
Clemens, however, told KRIV-TV in Houston on Monday night he would only want to pitch against a contender.
"I can tell you right now -- and they would know, too -- that if I was going to go do it, I am going to pitch against a contender, that's who I want to knock out," Clemens said. "Why would I want to waste my time running around and getting in shape. I get over to Minute Maid [Park], I'll crank it up and get it over 90 for a contender. We'll knock them right out of the playoffs. That would be the fun. Pitching against somebody that's not in contention wouldn't be any fun for me."
Clemens, 50, has made two starts for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings Friday night with his son, Koby, serving as his catcher. Clemens said following that game he was unlikely to pitch in 2012, but didn't rule out '13.
Biggio's son wins gold at world championships
HOUSTON -- Astros legend Craig Biggio, a special assistant to the club, was beaming with pride Monday after his youngest son, Cavan, returned home after helping the U.S. win the gold medal at the 2012 International Baseball Federation 18-and-under/AAA World Championships early Saturday with a 3-2 win over Canada in Seoul, South Korea.
"I am so excited for the boys," Biggio said. "This was a huge commitment for the players and the staff. To bring home the gold for the first time in 13 years is so special. This has been something they will never forget and they have memories for a lifetime.
"I am so proud of the way they played as a team and never gave up. A gold medal, that is so cool. Congrats."
Cavan Biggio, who plays for his father at St. Thomas High School in Houston and has signed with the University of Virginia, hit .293 (12-for-41) in the tournament, including a four-hit game.
"It was awesome," Cavan said. "Just getting the opportunity to represent our county was just amazing, and just the feeling of being in the dog pile and knowing you were world champions and you won it for your country is a great feeling."
Schafer re-injures left shoulder on diving attempt
HOUSTON -- As the Astros took a step closer to getting ailing infielders Jose Altuve, Scott Moore and Brandon Laird back on the field, center fielder Jordan Schafer has re-injured the left shoulder that kept him on the disabled list for most of August.
Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said Monday that Schafer aggravated the injury diving in the outfield for a Jay Bruce triple on Sunday in Cincinnati.
"We're going to have to keep an eye on him and see where he's at," DeFrancesco said.
Altuve, the All-Star second baseman, strained an abdominal muscle Friday and hasn't played since. He said Monday he was close to returning and should be able to hit on the field Tuesday. "It's real close to getting back to play," he said.
Moore is taking swings in the cage and fielding ground balls hit right at him with hopes of returning in the next couple of days. He left Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh with a left groin strain. Laird missed the Cincinnati series with flu-like symptoms, but said Monday he felt better.
The Astros added an arm to their bullpen Monday by purchasing the contract of right-hander Enerio Del Rosario, who was at home in the Dominican Republic after finishing the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.