Bo Porter wasn’t worried.
Houston had struck out 56 times through the first four games of the season, an MLB record.
The manager reminded his team before Saturday’s game to “just concentrate, lock in one pitch at a time and try to keep the line moving,” adding that was their focus all spring.
The Astros (1-4) had eight hits, bringing their season total to 33. An even better stat: they only had four strikeouts.
“I couldn’t tell you how many it was yesterday or how many it was today,” Porter said. “What I do know is that we lost the game.”
Despite the 6-3 loss to the A’s, the team remains positive about its offensive abilities.
“Those guys are going to be OK,” Porter said. “The bats were definitely much better today. We have no doubt in our minds these guys are going to hit. It’s just all a matter of time. Offense comes and goes.”
“We’re just kind of trying to stick to our approach and not try to do too much,” catcher Jason Castro said. “I think we got out of that a little bit, and we’re just trying to calm down and stay within ourselves. It started to show a little bit tonight, and it will just continue to kind of flush itself out and really come to fruition. We’re close, we’re right there. I think this is the right direction for us to be headed.”
Castro hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the Crawford Boxes, to give the Astros a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning.
“I was trying to stay with my approach, trying to see something out over the plate,” Castro said. “I took a couple good swings and was trying to zone the ball out in front a little bit, and fortunately with two strikes, I got a pitch that was out enough and I was able to put a good swing on it.”
Along with Castro’s two hits in the game, Justin Maxwell and J.D. Martinez also went 2-for-4. Jose Altuve and Carlos Pena each had a single.
So, the focus was there for the Astros batters, but it helped that the A’s starter, 39-year-old RHP Bartolo Colon, is known for pounding the strikezone.
“He’s got good stuff,” Castro said. “He works pretty quickly. He throws a lot of fastballs and relies on his sinker trying to get guys out and tries to get guys to make themselves get themselves out. We knew that going in. It’s good to see guys cut down on strikeouts and having more quality at-bats.”