Sunday, July 15th, 2018 pm31 12:46pm

Houston Astros send Ken Giles to minors after fiery ninth-inning exit

Steve Gardner USA TODAY
Published 9:12 p.m. UTC Jul 11, 2018
Astros reliever Ken Giles allowed three runs on three hits Tuesday against Oakland and was removed before he recorded an out.
Shanna Lockwood, USA TODAY Sports

Following a ninth-inning meltdown in which he gave up three runs without getting an out, the Houston Astros have sent former closer Ken Giles to the minors.

While his 4.99 ERA might be reason enough for the demotion, the way he left Tuesday’s game against Oakland might also have been a contributing factor.

Television replays appeared to show Giles using an expletive when manager A.J. Hinch came out to replace him in a game the Astros eventually won 6-5 in 11 innings.

In Hinch’s pregame media session on Wednesday, he declined to comment on the interaction he had with Giles the night before.

“We deal with a lot of different things behind the scenes internally as a team,” he told reporters. “Let’s keep it to baseball.”

After recording 34 saves and posting a 2.30 ERA in 2017, Giles lost his closer job during the Astros’ World Series triumph and has been inconsistent this season. Although he hasn’t officially blown a save in 12 chances — he entered Tuesday’s game with a four-run lead — the Astros have also turned to Hector Rondon (7 saves), Chris Devenski (2) and Brad Peacock (2) in save situations.

“He’s not right,” Hinch said about Giles. “We need to get him right mentally and physically to make sure he’s a good contributor to our pen.”

Follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner

Published 9:12 p.m. UTC Jul 11, 2018

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