Astros ready to play spoiler role

Astros ready to play spoiler role
September 18, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Sep 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) is congratulated after scoring a run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park.

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

With the Astros’ losses mounting, which hit 100 after Tuesday night’s 10-0 defeat to Cincinnati, Astros manager Bo Porter said the team is still trying to win each game while at the same time evaluating personnel for next year’s club.

The Astros, who have the youngest roster in the major leagues, have 11 games remaining on their schedule, and against teams that are fighting for their playoff survival. The Astros aren’t laying down for any team and Porter shouldn’t be criticized for playing so many players at different positions.

“We’re going to set our best lineup out there every day,” said Porter.

Porter said that playing teams that are in playoff contention this late in the season should benefit his young team, whose average age is 26.1.

“We talked to them about the intensity that the teams that we have left on our schedule are all fighting for their playoff life,” said Porter. “It’s good for our guys to be able to witness the intensity that a playoff team brings to the ballpark every day. It’s something that we can learn from, moving forward.”

One way or the other, the Astros will have a say in the wild-card races.

The Astros conclude their three-game home series with the Reds on Wednesday night.
Starting on Thursday Houston plays four games at Cleveland, followed by three games at Texas. Houston ends its 2013 season with three games against the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Sept. 27-29.

Cincinnati has a little cushion for the National League’s second wild-card spot. The Reds are 4 ½ games clear of Washington. Third in the NL Central Division, the Reds are only 2 ½ games behind first-place St. Louis and 1 ½ games behind second-place Pittsburgh.

Two of the three American League teams remaining on the Houston schedule are in the thick of the wild-card race. Texas is tied with Tampa Bay atop the wild-card standings, just a half-game ahead of Cleveland. The Yankees are sixth in the wild-card standings, 3 ½ games behind Texas and Tampa Bay.