ST. PETERSBURG -- There's a chance that Josh Zeid might have seen his last Major League at-bat when he struck out trying to bunt in the seventh inning Wednesday in Washington.
Zeid, a reliever for an American League team, got the rare opportunity to step to the plate with a runner at first and no outs. Facing Ross Detwiler of the Nationals, he fouled off a bunt, took a ball and then whiffed at a pair of chances to get a bunt down.
"I tried my best," said Zeid, who hadn't faced a professional pitcher in a game since he was in Double-A in 2011. "I give hitting a lot more credit. It looks a lot [easier] than it is. I really wish I could have gotten it down. It would have helped the team."
When Zeid was told he was going to the plate, he had to corral a batting glove, bat and a helmet from teammates.
"I had a lot of stuff to choose from, and they did a good job preparing me," he said. "I was a little out of my element for the time being. That's something I need to work on for us to make myself more valuable in the future, to be able to put a bunt down."
That being said, Zeid admitted it was a nerve-racking experience.
"I know it's a Major League pitcher and he's going to have good control," Zeid said. "You have to keep your eye on the ball and get the bat down. You see the ball and it moves on you and it goes somewhere else. I haven't looked at the video. I'm too afraid to look at the video. So I don't really know how far I missed the ball. I felt like I just kept missing it a little bit."
Peacock back with club after resting from illness
ST. PETERSBURG -- Astros pitcher Brad Peacock, who is scheduled to start Saturday against the Rays, rejoined the club Thursday in Florida after flying in from Houston. Peacock didn't travel with the team to Washington after becoming ill following his start on Sunday.
Peacock was sickened with food poisoning after giving up two runs and three hits in four innings Sunday in Houston against the Rays. The night after he pitched, he started getting chills and breaking out in sweats. He had trouble keeping any food or liquids down, so his wife, Stephanie, took his temperature.
"Steph got a thermometer and took my temperature and it was 103.6 and I was like, 'Oh, God,'" Peacock said. "The next morning I went over to the hospital and they took care of me. I'm feeling good now."
Peacock felt well enough Thursday to play catch at Tropicana Field and will try to throw lightly in the bullpen on Friday. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last five starts, during which the team is 3-2. In that span, Peacock is 2-0 with a 2.94 ERA, having allowed 12 walks, 23 hits and nine earned runs in 27 2/3 innings.
Astros' lineup features Dominguez's hot bat at No. 5
ST. PETERSBURG -- With third baseman Matt Dominguez swinging a hot bat and entering Thursday on a five-game hitting streak, manager Bo Porter had him hitting in the fifth spot in the order for the 13th time this season, behind rookies George Springer and Jon Singleton.
The Springer and Singleton combination in the third and fourth spots could be something Astros fans could get used to seeing a lot of in the coming years, but Porter said the lineup configuration had more to do with moving up Dominguez to separate left-handed bats Singleton and Jason Castro.
"It makes it little hard on the opposing manager to put Dominguez in between them," Porter said. "It gives good continuity to the lineup. Having George behind [Jose] Altuve, we've spoke about the whole dynamic many times before and I like having those guys back to back."
Singleton was hitting cleanup for the fifth time since joining the Astros.
"Anywhere in the lineup, I feel comfortable, whether it's leadoff or in the nine-hole," he said. "It's not going to [deter] me from my game plan or anything like that."
Astros assign Draft signings to rookie league clubs
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Astros on Thursday announced the signing of 14 more picks from the First-Year Player Draft, assigning them to rookie league Greeneville and the rookie Gulf Coast League Astros.
The players assigned to Greeneville are right-hander Dean Deetz (11th round), infielder Connor Goedert (15th round), outfielder Ramon Laureano (16th round), infielder Antonio Nunez (18th round), catcher Trent Woodward (20th round), infielder Bryan Muniz (22nd round), outfielder Sean McMullen (30th round), right-hander Joshua James (34th round) and right-hander Eric Peterson (37th round).
The players assigned to the GCL are catcher Ruben Castro (19th round), catcher Richard Gonzalez (29th round), infielder Dexture McCall (31st round), outfielder Edwin Medina (33rd round) and right-hander Justin Ferrell (36th round). The Astros have signed 28 of their 41 selections from the 2014 Draft.
The Greeneville Astros are owned and operated by the Astros, and last year finished with their second-best regular-season record in club history at 38-30. Greeneville made it to the Appalachian League Championship series before falling to Pulaski, 2-0, in the three-game set.
The GCL Astros are based out of the Astros' Spring Training complex in Kissimmee, Fla. Last year the club went 27-33.