• Brian L. Barefield

Astros Struggles At The Plate Continues As They Lose Their Fourth Straight Game

Houston Astros fans that have been in attendance for the last two home games against the Toronto Blue Jays must have felt like they were stuck in a recurring bad dream. On Friday, the Astros showed signs of getting their offense back on track in the third inning and then went scoreless for the next six to lose 4-3.

The next day, Houston scored two runs in the first inning and did not cross home plate for the rest of the game as they lost to the Blue Jays 3-2. Those two runs came courtesy of one big swing by third baseman Alex Bregman who sent a monstrous blast into the right-field Crawford Boxes.

Houston’s offense is suffering from anemia right now as they have scored a combined ten runs in the last five games at home, which has led to a 1-4 record during that span of games.

“We have to do a better job all across the board of stringing hits together and stringing at-bat after at-bat together and constantly keeping pressure on,” Bregman said. “We haven’t done that to start the year this year, but we will.”

On Saturday, one bright spot for the Astros was the hot bat of outfielder Kyle Tucker. Yes. You are reading that right. I said, Kyle Tucker.

After being stuck in a 0-for-19 slump at the plate, Tucker decided to switch things up and wear batting gloves, which is very rare for the bare-handed batter. Those gloves must have been magical as he went 3-for-4 for the game. It was his first multi-hit game since April 8 against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I think they were in my locker from last year, in the back of my cubby,” Tucker said. “Just broke those out to see if they had some knocks in them. They did. I’ll probably wear them tomorrow, too.”

Before his breakout game on Saturday, Tucker, who has started all 14 games for the Astros, had been having terrible luck at the plate having only one hit in his last 36 at-bats. His slow start is not unusual for him as he had a similar start last April, finishing the month with a .181 batting average having only 17 hits in 94 at-bats.

“I would prefer not to do that every time, but today, three hits and my average went up like 60 points,” Tucker said in his postgame press conference. “Your season can change really quick. I went from .085 to whatever it is now. Tomorrow’s a new day and a new opportunity, and there’s always room for improvement.”

The Astros have one more game at Minute Maid Park against the Blue Jays before heading out on a seven-game road trip against the Texas Rangers (4) and concluding in Toronto (3).

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