Ken Giles sent down to Astros' Triple-A affiliate after 9th inning meltdown

HOUSTON TX- JULY 10 Manager AJ Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros takes the ball from Ken Giles #53 in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park

Bob Levey Getty Images Astros manager A.J. Hinch took the ball from reliever Ken Giles in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Athletics

Giles has 12 saves but a 4.99 ERA this season after posting a 2.30 ERA in 2017.

Astros reliever Ken Giles has been demoted to Triple-A after an outburst during the ninth inning of an Astros win Tuesday.

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The Astros were up by four to start the ninth inning against Oakland on Tuesday night when Giles took over and gave up three straight singles, which cut the lead to 4-1. But Giles has memorably sunk the "Stros in high-leverage spots this season".

The postseason, however, proved to be another story, as Giles yielded runs in all but one of his seven playoff appearances and eventually fell behind both Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton when manager A.J. Hinch was looking for late-inning relief options late in Houston's eventual World Series run. He is 0-2 with a 4.99 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, striking out 31 batters in 30.2 innings. For Hinch's part, he said he didn't know if he was the target, but if it was, "we'll talk about it". He's given up 36 hits and 17 earned runs.

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More importantly, it looks like hitters have figured him out.

"Giles, 27, was originally acquired to be the Astros" closer in a 2016 blockbuster that sent Vince Velasquez, Mark Appel, Tom Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer and Harold Arauz to the Phillies.

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And this incident, along with his generally churlish attitude, seemed out of place set against the backdrop of the mostly mild-mannered and fun-loving Astros clubhouse. Nearly more memorable than that was Giles punching himself in the face after giving up four runs to the Yankees in the ninth inning on May 2.

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