Astros get Pena back but Brantley leaves game

by Daryn Albert - The Astros activated rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena from the injured list Sunday, but outfielder Michael Brantley left their game against the Yankees with right shoulder discomfort.

Houston Astros activate rookie SS Jeremy Pena from IL but Michael Brantley leaves game 12:38 PM ET Associated Press NEW YORK -- The Houston Astros activated rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena from the injured list Sunday, but star outfielder Michael Brantley left their game against the New York Yankees with right shoulder discomfort. Slugger Yordan Alvarez was out of the lineup with an ongoing hand issue as Houston tried to win its four-game series against the major-league-leading New York Yankees . Alvarez hurt the hand on a swing June 18, sat out a game against the Chicago White Sox the next day and has played every game since. Manager Dusty Baker said Alvarez's hand is still sore, and the 24-year-old may need regular rest. The issue hasn't affected Alvarez's performance, as he has hit four of his 22 home runs in the five games since the injury. Editor's Picks 1 Related Pena, 24, is one of the leading candidates for American League Rookie of the Year but hasn't played since June 13, when he injured his left thumb diving for a catch. He is hitting .277 with nine home runs, six stolen bases and an .805 OPS while playing stellar defense at shortstop. He has been a worthy replacement for Carlos Correa , a two-time All-Star who left Houston for Minnesota as a free agent this spring. Brantley was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before being replaced by pinch-hitter J.J. Matijevic in the eighth inning. McCormick is hitting .219 with six homers and a .684 OPS in his second big league season. His demotion allows Houston to keep rookie J.J. Matijevic on the roster. Matijevic is just 2-for-14, but both hits have been home runs, including one against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on Saturday. Matijevic, primarily a corner outfielder and first baseman, hits left-handed, while McCormick bats righty.