NEW YORK -- The Astros announced on Saturday that they optioned reliever Chuckie Fick to Triple-A Oklahoma City to clear a roster spot for Fernando Abad, who started against the Mets.
Abad was called up on Friday and arrived in New York after the game, but Houston waited until Saturday to make a corresponding move after interim manager Tony DeFrancesco earned his first career Major League win -- the Astros topped the Mets, 3-1, at Citi Field.
Fick got off to a rocky start with the Astros -- he was claimed off waivers by Houston on July 27 after the Cardinals designated him for assignment two days earlier -- allowing four earned runs over his first three appearances out of the bullpen. He strung together four outings without allowing an earned run earlier this month, but again struggled in his two most recent outings.
DeFrancesco said Fick will be eligible to -- and likely will -- rejoin the Astros when rosters expand in September.
"He has a good attitude," DeFrancesco said. "We talked to him, he's going to go down there and work on a few things. He's working out and he's willing to do whatever we want."
Lyles shows off power fastball against Mets
NEW YORK -- Jordan Lyles was on a whole new level Friday night.
Lyles powered through six innings against the Mets, reaching a career-best 96 mph with his fastball multiple times and, in turn, holding New York to just one run.
"In the past, I've tried to locate, locate, locate and just keep some guys off-balance, but sometimes you've got to just say, 'Hey, here it is. I'm going to give you my best fastball and see if you can hit it,'" Lyles said. "I think my last couple starts I've been doing more of that."
Lyles said the biggest difference has been adding a third scheduled workout day between starts. Asked whether dead arm was a resulting concern, Lyles said he's felt fine despite the increased workload.
"Every time he throws it, the confidence is coming," said Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, who previously managed Lyles at Houston's Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City. "His delivery looks outstanding, I think he has a nice gather. I'm looking up at that board and seeing 93-95 mph, and that was all the expectation of Jordan Lyles -- he's going to grow into this power pitcher."
Lyles said adjustments in his delivery -- specifically "staying tall on the mound" -- were key in his three-hit effort on Friday night, his first win since June 26.
"He showed some signs of [the adjustments] yesterday," DeFrancesco said. "He had a good sinker at times, he elevated his fastball, his breaking ball was consistent. It was just good to see Jordan pitch that quality, get a win under his belt and get back on track."
Adam Rosenbloom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.