Astros Manager Larry Dierker will remain in intensive care until at least today but is recovering on schedule, GM Gerry Hunsicker said.

"Dr. [Rob] Parrish said Larry had a great day," Hunsicker said. "He said Larry had a great attitude and seemed to be his normal self."

Also, Hunsicker said an angiogram yesterday confirmed that Parrish's surgical team on Tuesday successfully removed a tangle of blood vessels that touched off a grand mal seizure during a game Sunday.

Parrish said Dierker, 52, probably will remain hospitalized into next week and faces four weeks of convalescence at home. He won't return to the team until after the all-star break.

CUBAN DEFECTORS: Six players who defected from Cuba recently have been granted political asylum in Costa Rica, according to a sports agent. Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Total Sports International Inc. identified the players as C Brayan Pena, 17, C Alexis Hernandez, 25, P Miguel Perez, 23, P Julio Cesar Villalon, 21, OF Nataniel Reinoso, 24, and OF Juan Carlos Bruzon, 28.

HOSPITALIZED: Josh Hamilton, 18, selected by the Devil Rays as the No. 1 overall pick in this month's amateur baseball draft, was hospitalized in Charleston, W. Va., with a stomach ailment after arriving for the start of his rookie league season.

A nursing supervisor at Princeton Community Hospital declined to disclose the cause of the illness.