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Houston Astros release outfielders Rick Ankiel, Fernando Martinez

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Rick Ankiel is only hitting .194 and has struck out more than 53 percent of the time this year.

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Astros have designated outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez for assignment and reinstated outfielder J.D. Martinez from the disabled list.

Houston also selected the contract of outfielder Trevor Crowe from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday and recalled infielder-outfielder Jimmy Paredes from their top minor league team. Infielder Brandon Laird was also optioned to Oklahoma City.

Ankiel hit .194 with five homers and 11 RBIs, Fernando Martinez hit .182 with a homer and three RBIs and Laird hit .200 with two homers and five RBIs.

J.D. Martinez returns after being on the disabled list since April 20 with a sprained right knee.

Crowe hit .300 with two homers, 14 RBIs and a team-leading 11 stolen bases in 29 games for Oklahoma City. Paredes leads the RedHawks with a .376 average in 29 games this season.

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