Ryan explains strategy to build a stronger team

HOUSTON -- At approximately 12:15 p.m. CT on Sunday, Astros players will venture to an area they're not accustomed to: the entrance gates. Players will be on hand to greet fans as they enter Minute Maid Park a little less than an hour before first pitch of the finale with the Angels.

Consider it a late-season goodwill gesture from the Astros to their fans, to thank them for their support this year and into the future.

"That's something that [club president] Reid Ryan has brought to the organization," manager Bo Porter said. "I think it's great to interact with the fans, and allow them to kind of feel like our players are open to coming up and greeting them.

"A lot of times they don't get a chance to get up close and personal with the players, because we're always on the field. So I think it's something great that the organization is going to adopt."

At the same time, the Astros will be hosting Dog Day at the ballpark, where fans will have an opportunity to walk their dogs around the warning track as part of the popular Pooch Parade.

Worth noting

• Former Spanish broadcaster and current media member Rene Cardenas was inducted into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor during a pregame ceremony Saturday.

A current or former Houston media member is inducted each season for significant and lasting contributions to the landscape of Houston baseball through their work in journalism or broadcasting. Cardenas was elected by his peers in recognition of his 67 years of service to the Astros and Major League Baseball.

Jason Castro will receive a "few more days" of rest, according to Porter, as the club continues to monitor his sore right knee.

• The starting rotation for next week's series against Cincinnati series is: left-hander Erik Bedard on Monday, right-hander Jordan Lyles Tuesday and right-hander Brad Peacock Wednesday.

• On this date in 1989, Mike Scott became the fourth Astro to reach 20 wins in a season during an 11-3 victory at Dodger Stadium. Batterymate Craig Biggio had a banner day with two home runs and six RBIs.