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Astros’ Hipolito Pichardo Retires

May 9, 2002

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Houston right-hander Hipolito Pichardo was placed on the restricted list Thursday and has begun the process of retiring from baseball for the second time.

Pichardo, who got the decision in a 7-4 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday in his only appearance this year, began the season on the disabled list with tendinitis.

The problem dates back to 1998 when his season was cut short after 18 starts with Kansas City because of a sprained ligament and strained muscle in the elbow. He missed all of 1999 after having surgery to repair the problem.

After appearing in 68 games in 2000 and 2001 with Boston, Pichardo reinjured the elbow and announced his first retirement on Aug. 19, 2001 after a loss against Baltimore. He signed with Houston as a free agent during the offseason.

``He continued to have pain in his elbow and expressed his interest to retire rather than continue to work on it,″ said Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker, who learned of Pichardo’s decision late Thursday afternoon from manager Jimy Williams.

With the roster spot open, the Astros recalled outfielder Jason Lane from Triple-A New Orleans where he was hitting .303 with three homers and 21 RBIs.

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