Carter showing why Astros stick with him

Carter showing why Astros stick with him
August 11, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Porter on Carter: 'He reminds you why you stick with him'

(Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carter has struck out 153 times, second-most in the American League in 106 games, and is hitting only .213.

Astros manager Bo Porter keeps Carter in the lineup because Carter provides the team with a home-run threat. And the big guy has delivered with home runs the past two games against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.

On Sunday, the Astros lost 6-1, averting a shutout when Carter connected on a changeup off left-hander Martin Perez with two outs in the ninth inning.

“If it all comes together he can be special for a long time,” said Porter. “He reminds you why you stick with him.”

Acquired from Oakland in February, the right-handed hitting Carter is playing on a regular basis in the major leagues for the first time this season. He’s still a work in progress. Porter knows it, Carter, who struck out twice on Sunday, knows it.

“I’ve been taking a lot of swings in the cage,” said Carter, who has a team-leading 21 home runs.

Carter, who was the designated hitter on Sunday, has homered in consecutive games six times in his career. The last time was May 7 and May 8 at the Angels.

On Saturday Carter connected on a fastball off left-hander Derek Holland on a homer to left field that measured 396 feet. Sunday’s home run to left field was measured at 425 feet.

“I hit the one yesterday (Saturday) better,” said Carter.