HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills on Saturday called for a more consistent league-wide approach to reviewing borderline home run calls on instant replay after the umpires told Mills on Sunday they didn't have a good enough camera angle to overturn a controversial call Saturday.
In the third inning of Saturday's loss to the Reds, Fernando Martinez hit a ball that caromed off the top of the wall in left field and bounced back into play. It was rule a doubled, but Mills thought the ball had struck the green railing just above the yellow line, which would have been a home run.
After a lengthy review, umpire Jim Joyce told Mills the replay views weren't adequate to overturn the call.
"He said the only feeds they had weren't very good and that they were trying to get a better feed from FOX, and that's why it took so long, because they didn't have a real good feed to look at," Mills said. "I'm embarrassed for Major League Baseball, because with everything being televised and all the technology they have, they don't have something better to show than that? That's embarrassing."
Saturday's game was televised nationally by FOX, which meant there were fewer camera angles available than if both of the teams' regional networks had been showing the game. It was also brought to Mills' attention that the Astros-Reds game wasn't the premier game on the network on Saturday, which may have contributed to the lack of feeds.
"If they're going to utilize cameras for the home runs, they've got to have cameras to get good looks," Mills said. "That's all there is to it. That's common sense. If FOX or whoever isn't going to have the cameras here because they've labeled these games, they shouldn't be allowed to do it. That's my opinion. We have to be able to have those things covered."
Mills goes over Minute Maid Park grounds rules prior to each series and reminds the umpires of the green railing just above the left-field wall.
Thrilling play aside, Schafer no fan of Tal's Hill
HOUSTON -- If the Astros decide to remove Tal's Hill in center field, Jordan Schafer will be a happy man.
Schafer, who ran all the way up the hill in the eighth inning Saturday to track down a fly ball off the bat of Mike Costanzo, said players are at risk of getting injured when running up the hill. So far, in the 13-year history of the ballpark, no player has known to get injured running up the hill.
"I'm not too fond of that hill out there," Schafer said. "I hope they get rid of it next year. I feel like I could fall on my face."
The catch Schafer made Saturday was the first time he's actually ran all the way up the hill, which is a rare play. Michael Bourn made a habit of making terrific plays on the hill, but even Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio had their share of nice catches on the berm.
"I just think it's a matter of time before someone gets hurt," Schafer said. "For me, it would be a shame to see somebody tear an ACL and be out for the year because they're running up a hill. It's something unique about our park, but I'd rather be healthy all year instead of run up a hill and tear an ACL."
Bogusevic OK with Mills' decision on role
HOUSTON -- After talking with manager Brad Mills about his role on the club, outfielder Brian Bogusevic says he understands why newcomer Fernando Martinez has been slated to get the majority of the starts in right field for the time being.
Mills said Saturday after the Astros called up Martinez from Triple-A Oklahoma City that he would be the starter in right field, a position Bogusevic has held for much of 2012. Bogusevic is hitting .220 with two homers and seven RBIs this year.
"He just said that, for the near future, he's going to get the bulk of the playing time, which is fine," Bogusevic said. "He's been swinging well before he came up and we're looking to score runs and stuff. It is what it is. I go back to being the left-handed bat off the bench and maybe playing here and there."
This season has been a struggle at the plate for Bogusevic, who homered on Opening Day as the starter in right. He batted .238 (19-for-80) in May with one home run, which came last Monday in Colorado. He hit .287 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 87 at-bats last year.
"It's definitely been frustrating," Bogusevic said of his season. "There's been times where I've felt like I'm about to break through and turn it around and then I go back to not feeling comfortable again. I'm still looking for that extended period of feeling comfortable with my swing. I have to keep working through it."
Shortstop Jed Lowrie was given a planned day off Sunday. Manager Brad Mills said he felt that with how much Lowrie has been playing lately and coming off a grueling road trip to Los Angeles and Denver, he wanted to give Lowrie a rest.
Mills said infielder Matt Downs was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday night to get more at-bats. Mills said with Chris Johnson playing well at first base and Jose Altuve hitting well at second, it was hard to get Downs on the field. Mills also said options played into the mix. Brian Bogusevic, who's been moved to the bench with the arrival of Fernando Martinez, is out of options.