HOUSTON -- Before the authenticators could scoop up the pink bats that several of the Astros players used in Sunday's loss to the Rangers, Astros slugger Chris Carter stealthily tucked one away at the top of his locker.
It was the one he used to hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning on Mother's Day, and he plans to give it to his mother.
"It's the first time I got one to swing, and I'm happy I got that and finally hit a home run for my mom," Carter said. "She's been asking every year and I finally got it."
Astros players donned pink batting gloves, sweat bands and arm sleeves to create awareness for breast cancer research as Pink in the Park Week came to a close at Minute Maid Park. The chance to wear pink and raise cancer awareness hits close to home for outfielder Brandon Barnes.
"It's huge for me," he said. "My wife lost her mom to breast cancer, and for me to be able to show our support and our love, it's nice. I know mom's watching on TV or just getting to see the pictures will think it's special."
All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve was finally able to swing a pink bat.
"That's the first time, because last year on Mother's Day, I didn't play," he said. "I was on the bench."
Louisville Slugger and MLB first introduced the pink bat program on Mother's Day in 2006. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.
Astros' moms throw out first pitches
HOUSTON -- The mothers of Astros players Wesley Wright, Trevor Crowe, Paul Clemens and Robbie Grossman threw out the ceremonial first pitches prior to Sunday's Mother's Day game against the Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
Ruby Wright, Patti Grossman, Terryl Crowe and Patty Clemens wore their sons' jerseys and tossed pitches to their sons.
"Growing up, we weren't around Major League Baseball parks a lot, and the fact I'm a Major League Baseball player and she's going to have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch, it's something I think we'll both remember for a while," Wesley Wright said. "It's a moment she deserves. She's sacrificed a lot for myself and my older brothers. I'm happy to be able to have this opportunity for her to be able to get out on the field and throw a pitch to me."
Paul Clemens credited his mother with helping foster his love for baseball by playing catch with him when he was a kid.
"She's a big reason I'm here," he said. "She was the one in the backyard playing baseball with me before kindergarten. You never forget those days hitting the ball off the tee, running around with mom. It's going to be fun and we'll enjoy it."
Porter's cancer-surviving mom in attendance
HOUSTON -- Mother's Day took on special meaning for Astros manager Bo Porter, whose mother, Beverly, is a cancer survivor and was in attendance on Sunday, along with his wife, Stacey.
"I was raised by a single mom, and she has instilled a lot of the characteristics in which I stand behind today," Porter said. "I owe her and she'll be here. Today is always a day I think about that 1 1/2 years she went through cancer. A lot of times when things like that happen to other people, you see it, but when it hits home, you really realize the magnitude or effect it has not only on the person who has cancer, but I think about the sacrifice my wife had to make that baseball season , flying back and forth to be with my mom for chemo.
"It puts an added responsibility on you and your loved ones. It's not just the person that's diagnosed with cancer and is dealing with chemo and radiation. But the entire family feels the effects because you have to make sure they have everything they need."
Porter said he battled the crowds at Nordstrom at the Galleria in Houston on Saturday to buy his wife a bottle of her favorite perfume.
"She was pretty happy with it," he said. "Don't ask me to pronounce it, because I can't pronounce it. All I know is it was made in France, and you can only buy it in Nordstrom and it's expensive. She likes it and she put it on this morning and really smells good."