PHOENIX -- Astros right-hander Enerio Del Rosario is modifying his delivery, returning to a lower arm-slot that led to some success while with he was with the Reds in 2010.
The reliever showed off the delivery on Saturday night against the D-backs with mixed results. He gave up a solo home run to D-backs left fielder Jason Kubel and walked the next two batters, but he also induced a double-play off the bat of Miguel Montero. He retired center fielder Chris Young on a fly ball to right field to get out of the inning.
Two years ago, Del Rosario was 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in 8 2/3 innings in the big leagues for Cincinnati. He has a 6.57 ERA in 12 1/3 innings with Houston this season.
"We're trying to get it to where he's confident and he's comfortable with it as a lower arm-slot, where he is able to throw strikes," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "Get him to throw the ball like he is capable of throwing."
Del Rosario said Astros pitching coach Doug Brocail and new closer Francisco Cordero, Del Rosario's teammate in Cincinnati, have been very helpful.
"Cordero came to our hotel room last night and talked to me, Fernando [Abad] and [Rhiner] Cruz about forgetting about the past and moving forward," Del Rosario said. "He could see that something was wrong, so he just reminded us to be optimistic. He talked about what happened to him in Toronto and how he is going forward, too. It was a great advice from somebody who has been in the big leagues a long time."
Del Rosario said Cordero had similar chats with Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Aroldis Chapman when they were teammates with the Reds.
Astros looking forward to homestand
PHOENIX -- It's been a long 10-game road trip, but the Astros will finally return to Houston for seven games against the Reds and Pirates starting Monday.
Sunday's series finale against the D-backs also concluded a stretch of 17 of 20 games on the road.
"It seems like it has been a while," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "We love being home and there's no doubt we are definitely looking forward to being there."
Heading into Sunday, the Astros had lost five in a row and eight of the first nine games on the trip. They had also lost 18 of their last 20 games.
"We wish would have got off to a better start," Mills said. "Those games close games we lost in San Francisco and in San Diego were really tough games. Those are pitching performances we want to take advantage of. I think they can learn from all experiences. But I'd prefer they learn from winning experiences."
Mills reflects on Hall of Famers Larkin, Santo
PHOENIX -- The induction of Ron Santo and Barry Larkin into the National Baseball Hall of Fame was shown on the video board above center field at Chase Field on Sunday morning, sparking conversations about the newest inductees into Cooperstown inside the Astros' dugout.
"The one thing about Barry Larkin that I can remember is that he could do everything," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He could hit for power. He hit for average and he could play a great shortstop. He stole bases. He was a special player and a Hall of Famer because of it. He could beat you in number of ways." Mills also followed Santo's career.
"He was quite a competitor," the manager said. "Everyone that talks about him talks about how big of a competitor he was."
Mills met with his pitching coaches before Sunday's game to discuss the club's recent pitching woes. Astros pitchers walked 14 batters in the first two games of the series against the D-backs.
"We'll see what is going through (pitchers') mind at the time and what exactly is their throwing program and how that can be adjusted," Mill said.
At 21 years and 277 days old, Sunday's starter Jordan Lyles is the youngest starting pitcher in the National League. The Astros have the second-youngest active Major League roster in the National League, with an average age of 27.2. The Washington Nationals are the youngest with an average age of 27.1.
Triple-A Oklahoma City's Jimmy Paredes is hitting .531 during his current seven-game hitting streak and has three home runs and eight RBIs during that stretch.
Outfielder Brandon Barnes is riding a nine-game hitting streak, hitting .475 during that span, and fellow outfielder Fernando Martinez has also hit safely in his last nine games, hitting .378 during that stretch for the first-place RedHawks.
The Astros will honor longtime fans Loraine Glenewinkel and Viola Meier Merz during a special pregame ceremony prior to Monday's game. The twin sisters celebrated their 90th birthday last Thursday.