Mills gets third Astros interview

The Houston Astros, moving closer to a decision on their managerial hire, were scheduled to hold a third interview Tuesday with Boston Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills.

Mills arrived in Houston on Monday and was scheduled to meet Tuesday with owner Drayton McLane Jr., general manager Ed Wade and other club officials. The Astros are expected to name their new manager by the end of the week.

"I'm really looking forward to sitting down with them again," Mills told KRIV-TV in Houston. "This is a great opportunity."

Mills, interim manager Dave Clark and former Astros manager Phil Garner are still in the running to replace Cecil Cooper, who was fired Sept. 21. The Astros offered the position to former Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta, but he turned it down to sign a three-year deal to manage the Cleveland Indians.

Mills, 52, has been Terry Francona's bench coach in Boston since 2004. He managed 11 seasons in the minor leagues with the Cubs, Rockies and Dodgers organizations, and was Francona's first base coach in Philadelphia from 1997 through 2000. Mills also spent a year as Frank Robinson's bench coach in Montreal in 2003.

The Astros finished fifth in the NL Central with a 74-88 record this season. They were 24-42 under Cooper and Clark after peaking at 50-46 on July 24.

Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.