HOUSTON -- As a small gathering of reporters waited at his locker Thursday night, Astros right fielder George Springer got dressed and turned around and said, "Lights." No questions were needed, though Springer took some time to express his frustration over losing a ball in the Minute Maid Park lights
HOUSTON -- As a small gathering of reporters waited at his locker Thursday night, Astros right fielder George Springer got dressed and turned around and said, "Lights." No questions were needed, though Springer took some time to express his frustration over losing a ball in the Minute Maid Park lights in a crucial sixth inning.
The Royals rallied for five runs after two outs after Springer couldn't track down a sinking line drive off the bat of Lorenzo Cain in the lights. The Royals pulled away and held on for a 6-2 win, taking three of four games from the Astros.
Springer has appeared to have trouble with the new LED lights at Minute Maid Park at least four times this year, but losing Cain's ball proved to be costly.
"Yeah, they're tough," he said. "It's bright. It's not easy to see the ball. It cost us a game today."
When asked what can be done about the lights, Springer quipped: "Play during the day so they don't turn them on."
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Springer and the rest of the outfielders need to make adjustments.
"We're going to play the most games here of anybody in the league, so it's certainly something to continue to work on," he said. "There's not much you can do about it. The lights are there and they're not moving. We'll make the adjustments.
"I don't know if because it's straight on in dead right field or if it's the trajectories of some of the balls off the bats against the righties or lefties or what the issue is. It could be just bad luck, too. Everybody's got to play under the same conditions. We certainly don't want misfortune to find us all the time."
Springer said the lights are trouble for a right fielder on balls hit into the gap.
"[The lights] are not ideal but I'm not going to complain about it," Springer said. "It is what it is, and we're just going to have to learn to play with it."
After Cain reached on what was originally ruled an error and changed to a single, Eric Hosmer hit the first of three consecutive doubles, and the Royals were off and running.
"It's a pretty helpless feeling, but you can't do anything about it," Springer said. "I catch that ball if it's not in the lights."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.