Baseball roundup: Orioles tighten grip on wild card; Astros' Triple-A coach gets the call-up

Published: Sunday, Aug. 19 2012 10:18 p.m. MDT

The Astros hope he can do the same for their young, struggling major league club.

DeFrancesco was chosen interim manager Sunday, a day after Brad Mills was fired.

"There's going to be a commitment to excellence," DeFrancesco said. "Believe me, I want to be the guy that changes the environment around here. I grew up a winner, I had success in the minor leagues, and it's time for it to translate to the major league level. I'm sure I'm going to make mistakes, but that's part of baseball."

DeFrancesco managed Oklahoma City to a 67-60 record and has the RedHawks contending for a playoff spot this season. Houston has the worst record in the major leagues at 39-83.

He takes over an Astros club that is the youngest in the National League at 26.5 years — and even younger than the Oklahoma City team, 27.3 years.

In his third season running the Astros, Mills was dismissed Saturday night after Houston lost to the Diamondbacks 12-4.

SHOPPACH DENIES INVOLVEMENT: New York Mets catcher Kelly Shoppach denied that he had any part in text messages that reportedly undermined Boston manager Bobby Valentine to Red Sox owners.

Boston traded Shoppach to the Mets on Tuesday. The New York Daily News reported that Shoppach sent text messages using the phone of Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

"I wasn't behind any texts," Shoppach said. "I've already gotten some text messages from some of my former teammates apologizing that my name was even brought up in it. Everybody that's involved in that whole situation knows that I have nothing to do with it."

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