The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday after a 59-79 record in his second season.
General manager Jeff Luhnow named Tom Lawless as the interim manager for the remainder of the 2014 season. Luhnow also fired bench coach Dave Trembley.
"This was not an easy decision to make. We wish Bo nothing but the best in the future," Astros owner Jim Crane said in a statement. "Jeff has my full support moving forward. Our goal to bring a championship to Houston remains."
Porter, 42, had been the Astros manager since the start of the 2013 season after being named to the position on Sept. 27, 2012 while serving as third base coach for the Washington Nationals. He compiled a 110-190 record (.367 winning percentage) in parts of two seasons as Astros manager.
Adam Everett will join the coaching staff, replacing Trembley as bench coach. The remaining coaches will continue in their current roles.
Lawless, who has close to 35 years of experience in baseball as a major league player, minor league manager and coach, had served as the manager for triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this season while Tony DeFrancesco was on medical leave before returning to his role as a roving infield instructor.
"Bo's passion and energy are unparalleled, and his desire to win unquestioned," Luhnow said in a statement. "This decision was not made because of our current level of competitiveness in the Major Leagues. I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible. Rather, I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse.
"What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization. It is essential that as an organization we create an atmosphere at the Major League level where our young players can come up and continue to develop and succeed. Ultimately, I am responsible for creating that culture, and I will do everything in my power to do so -- even when it means making difficult moves like the one we made today.
"Moving forward, I am optimistic about the direction of our team. Our young core continues to progress, and I believe wholeheartedly that our plan -- while at times challenging -- is working and will bring a consistent winner to Houston in the very near future."
MONTERO SUSPENDED FOR SEASON
The Seattle Mariners suspended catcher Jesus Montero for the remainder of the season on Monday following an altercation with a team scout last week.
Montero was on a rehab assignment with short-season Everett when he went after a cross-checker scout with a bat during Thursday's game when the scout heckled him.
Montero went into the stands with a bat after the scout ordered him to hustle off the field in Spanish and had an ice cream sandwich sent to him in the dugout.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik called the behaviour of Montero and cross-checker Butch Baccala "unacceptable" and "embarrassing."
"We are extremely disappointed in both of their actions. It is unacceptable," Zduriencik said. "This organization doesn't condone that type of behaviour. It is being addressed as we speak. There are no excuses for either party. We have none. We don't intend to make any. It's something that is extremely disappointing and embarrassing for the organization and for those two individuals."
Baccala, who was overseeing other Mariners scouts, was apparently teasing Montero about his weight. Montero had reported to spring training 40 pounds overweight. At the time of the incident, Montero was acting as first base coach.
After exchanging words, Montero had to be physically restrained when he tried to enter the stands where the scout was sitting while carrying a bat in his hands. Montero swore at the scout, threw the ice cream sandwich at him and then was pulled back by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, according to the Boise official scorer.
Montero was not ejected from the game. He remained in the Everett dugout until the end of the contest. Everett won 13-8.
Montero, 24, is batting .286 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs in 97 games with triple-A Tacoma this season.
LINCECUM FLOPS IN RELIEF DEBUT
Since Tim Lincecum lost his job as a starter last week, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy raved about the bullpen sessions his pitcher has made.
Lincecum finally got into a game as a reliever Sunday, and the results were nothing to rave about.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched the final two innings Sunday in the Giants' 15-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He got roughed up for a home run and a double among three hits, surrendering the Brewers' final three runs.
Lincecum hadn't pitched since being demoted to the bullpen at the start of the homestand. He last pitched as a starter in a 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Aug. 23. He had a 9.49 ERA in his last six starts, prompting the demotion.
In eight career relief appearances before Sunday, Lincecum had a career 1.00 ERA.
St. Louis Cardinals right handers Michael Wacha and Jason Motte pitched in a rehab game Sunday night for double-A Springfield at Tulsa. Wacha suffered a stress fracture in his shoulder back in June while Motte is dealing with a lower back injury ... The Cleveland Indians activated designated hitter Jason Giambi off the disabled list. The 43-year-old Giambi had been on the DL since June 12 with an inflamed knee ... With rosters eligible to be expanded up to 40 players as of Sept. 1, the Miami Marlins activated left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings and right-handed pitcher Carter Capps off the disabled list ... The Los Angeles Dodgers designated infielder Carlos Triunfel for assignment, which makes room for outfield prospect Joc Pederson on the roster.