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MINNEAPOLIS -- Barely a year after acquiring Carlos Gomez, the Houston Astros have let the two-time All-Star center fielder go amid a season-long slump.The 30-year-old Gomez was designated for assignment Wednesday before the game in Minnesota, where he played two seasons at the beginning of his career.Manager A.J. Hinch praised Gomezs attitude despite the persistent struggles, but he was batting .210 with 100 strikeouts in 295 at-bats and a woeful .594 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. His contract was expiring at the end of the year.I just think he put a lot of pressure on himself to be perfect, and the harder he tried, sometimes the more difficult it became, Hinch said. It wasnt a lack of effort. It wasnt a lack of preparation. It wasnt a lack of anything other than production on the field.Gomez and starting pitcher Mike Fiers arrived from Milwaukee the day before the non-waiver trade deadline last year for four prospects, none of whom have reached the major leagues with the Brewers yet. But Gomez, who was making $9 million this season, will go down as one of the franchises biggest busts.Sometimes it just doesnt work. I know he carried the burden of being the big acquisition in July. He often spoke of feeling responsible and trying to play better for the team, knowing that he was a big addition last July during the playoff race, Hinch said. We can poke holes at guys, especially on their way out the door, but Ill choose to remember the more positive impact -- the home run in New York in the playoffs, the continual energy behind the scenes, the selflessness in talking to some of the young players.The Astros were a surprise AL wild-card team last year and after beating the Yankees fell to the World Series champion Kansas City Royals in five games in the next round. Gomez hit .242 with 13 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases in 41 games for the Astros after the trade.This season, hes been badly off track. He even made two glaring gaffes in the field Monday, his last game for Houston, by letting a single skip by him for a two-base error that allowed one run to score and losing a routine fly ball that became an RBI triple during a three-run fifth inning for the victorious Twins.He wasnt having a good year, obviously, but at least he tried hard, second baseman Jose Altuve said.Trying too hard has long been one of Gomezs troubles, a multi-talented athlete who has inconsistently harnessed his exuberance.We really wanted to start to play the guys who we felt were going to help us on a nightly basis more than the others, and thats not knocking Carlos Gomez at all, Hinch said. I think he brought his best every single day to try to help us win.The Astros recalled right-handed reliever Jandel Gustave from Triple-A Fresno to fill Gomezs roster spot. Jake Marisnick will take over in center field, and Tony Kemp will get plenty of time in left field. 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Paul Georges buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter spurred a 21-4 run, finally sending Indiana past the Magic 97-87 in a tougher-than-expected opening night matchup.New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich is prepared for a strong England squad in Saturdays Four Nations clash in Huddersfield. Bromwich was in the Kiwis team beaten 2-1 by England in their Test series in 2015 and admits the return of Sam Burgess from his spell in rugby union has added to the size of their task as they begin the defence of their Four Nations crown.Theyve a great team, with a lot of NRL experience, a lot of players Ive played against, said the Melbourne Storm prop. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract Sam is an outstanding player, someone I used to look up to when I watched the Kiwis play England a few years back now.Ive played against him a few times now and hes a tough competitor. Hes very aggressive, the whole forward pack is impressive. Its a tough ask.New Zealand have lost their last three matches and scored just six points in their two meetings with Australia this year but head coach David Kidwell, who takes charge for the second time following the departure of Stephen Kearney, believes he has solved those problems. New Zealand players celebrate after winning the Four Nations Final Australia in 2014 Weve addressed that in training and weve put it into action, said Kidwell after putting his team through their final training run at the John Smiths Stadiumm on Friday afternoon.dddddddddddd We just need to execute it tomorrow.Weve prepared well this week and were looking forward to what is going to be a big challenge tomorrow in front of a sold-out crowd.Im sure some of the boys that havent experienced an English crowd will be looking forward to enjoying it. Live New Zealand NPC Rugby October 29, 2016, 7:15am Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Kidwell is aware of the threats posed by the eight-strong NRL contingent in Englands 17 and says he has done his homework on the Super League-based players.Its a really strong competition over here, he said. Mixed in with some NRL players, its a very dangerous pack and team. Weve to be on our A game tomorrow.Well definitely be better for that run we had (in Perth). Weve had some really good training sessions and worked on the things that let us down. Hopefully weve worked hard enough to fix them up.You can watch Premier League and EFL Cup football, plus Englands tour of Bangladesh and the Mexican Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy six months at half price! Also See: Eddie Joness decisions Dont scrap promotion play-offs Wales quartet extend dual deals Larkham quits Brumbies for ARU ' ' '

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