• Brian L. Barefield

HOME: Astros looking for the home field magic to get them going.

Photo Credit/ Houston Astros

The character Dorothy from the movie, “The Wizard of Oz” described what the Houston Astros are thinking.

“There is no place like home,” she uttered as she wanted to go back to Kansas from Oz.

Well Houston isn’t Kansas, but it is a welcome site to a team that went 2-3 on the road against the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres. That brought their road record to 5-9 away from Minute Maid this year compared to 10-4 at home. They currently sit 4.5 games behind A.L. West leaders, Oakland A’s for the division lead.

Houston will prepare to play the next 10-games against the Los Angeles Angels, A’s, and the Texas Rangers. Hopefully they can rekindle some of that “H-Town Magic” that helped them go 7-1 on their last home stand allowing just seven runs while scoring 25 in the last six games. The Astros will be without one of their best hitters in Alex Bregman who injured his hamstring in the first game against the Rockies at Coors Field and will be out for at least three weeks.

“Initially that’s the kind of timetable that we’re looking at, but obviously, with all of these things we have to be patient,” Astros general manager James Click said on Sunday during his weekly interview on 790 AM. “We have to wait for things to calm down there and see how he responds to treatment.”

Two Astros found their groove on the road was outfielder Kyle Tucker and second baseman Jose Altuve. Tucker was 8x17 (.471) on the 5-game road trip with 3 HR, 3 triples and 9 RBI (1.176 SLG, 1.726 OPS). Altuve was right behind him going 9x22 (.409) in his last 5 games, raising his avg. from .168 to .214 in that span with multi-hits in 4 of his last 5 games.

Houston hopes to get the pitching staff back on track that has been very efficient for them the last 16 games but struggled some on the road. They have posted an ERA of 2.84 during that span making them the leaders in the Majors. Pitching coach Brent Strom has done an excellent job with the starters this season even without their ace Justin Verlander who went down with an arm injury after the first game of the season.

Photo Credit/ Houston Astros

Major League Baseball made some scheduling changes with inclement weather on the horizon for Houston and surrounding areas from Tropical Storm Laura.

Thursday’s game between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park in Houston will be played on Tuesday as part of a doubleheader beginning at 3:05 p.m. In addition, Wednesday’s game, which was originally scheduled for 8:10 p.m., will be moved up to a 12:10 p.m. start.

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