A REAL HOMER

George Springer and Astros stars roll out lively bowling bash for local kids

George Springer and Astros stars roll out lively bowling bash for local kids
Photo by Kim Padgett

George Springer, his wife, Charlise, and local kids.

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

The 5th George Springer All-Star Bowling Benefit raised more than $250,000 on the evening of June 27, with the proceeds going toward sending economically disadvantaged kids who stutter to the SAY summer camp (SAY stands for the Stuttering Association for the Young). As most Astros fans know, our American League starting All-Star slugger grew up stuttering and now is the SAY national spokesman.

The annual event at Bowlmor on Bunker Hill Road drew an array of local celebrities like Channel 11 anchor Ron Trevino, Channel 2 sports anchor Lainie Fritz, and Houston Dynamo legend Brian Ching. After some poignant speeches by remarkable kids (including one with a show-stopping singing voice), Houstonians bowled for a good cause. (I was an honorary lane captain.) Complimentary refreshments included pizza, pigs in a blanket, and fried mozzarella sticks.

Many of the Astros came to lend their support to Springer's effort — think José Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Lance McCullers Jr. — and throw a few bowling balls into the gutter. (Stick to your day and night jobs, guys.)

I pulled pitcher Collin McHugh aside (in between sets) for a few fast, hard-hitting questions:

CultureMap: When I watch the games on TV and they show the dugout, there’s always five landline phones on the dugout wall. I figure one is to call the bullpen, and one is to call the Psychic Hotline. Where do you think the other three phones go?

Collin McHugh: One is to call Aramark to have some food sent down to the dugout. One is to call into the clubhouse to see who's taking a nap. And the other is to call Uber to get me home.

CM: Who controls the music in the Astros clubhouse?

CMcH: Definitely George Springer! He's the team deejay. He has eclectic taste. My personal favorite is Sunday Funday. We get a lot of Earth, Wind & Fire, which is great by me.

CM: How do you kill time in the clubhouse during a rain delay?

CMcH: I like to watch guys play cards. I know it sounds weird, but we've got some really competitive guys, so things get pretty intense. They don't play poker, it's usually something like spades or hearts, old school games. Will Harris and Wade Miley are the most intense, tough duo.

Continue reading on CultureMap to find out if Collin McHugh likes the rule that baseball managers have to wear a uniform.


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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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