Springer sets club mark with 9th leadoff HR

June 29th, 2017

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder did it again.

Springer led off Wednesday's 11-8 win over the A's by depositing a 95.4-mph fastball from several rows deep into the right-field seats for his Major League-high ninth leadoff homer of the season.

"It's an incredible tone-setter," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's an incredible tone-setter to begin with -- his presence, his energy when he goes up to bat, his knowledge of the strike zone, his threat to do exactly what he did tonight. That's why he's leading off. He's a middle-of-the-order bat who's leading off the game."

"I just try to hit the ball hard," Springer said. "There's no real secret."

Springer's nine leadoff homers are a single-season franchise record, surpassing the previous mark of eight set by himself in 2016 and Craig Biggio in 2001. His 18 career leadoff homers are second in club history behind Biggio's 53.

MLB's single-season record for leadoff homers is 13 set by Alfonso Soriano in 2003. Springer is the first player to have nine before July.

"He's just a really good all-around player, and there's really no way around it," Hinch said. "He's demonstrating that with some attention at the top of an order on a really good team. He's a lock for an All-Star appearance, which is more than deserving."

With the 342-foot shot in the first inning, Springer also set a new franchise record for most home runs from the leadoff spot in a season with 24. Springer is the first Astro with 24 homers before the All-Star break since Lance Berkman had 24 in the first half of 2006.

"It's cool, it's great," Springer said. "But I'm much happier now to help us win, and start the offense up today."

Springer's 24 home runs rank second in the American League behind Yankees outfielder (27). Springer leads the AL with 11 home runs in June. The last Astros player with more homers in any month was Chris Carter (12 in August 2014).

"George is a really good player, I don't care what month it is," Hinch said. "His productivity has obviously exploded this month, but we've seen this in all areas of [his] game.

"There's not enough praise to talk about George."