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Astros showing efficiency on bases

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- One of the Astros' goals this season was to be more efficient on the bases. So far, so good. They were successful on their first eight stolen base attempts of the season before shortstop Jonathan Villar was thrown out trying to steal in the third inning of Sunday's game.

The goal, third-base coach Pat Listach says, is to be 80 percent successful while stealing bases. Last year, only two teams finished higher than 80 percent (Red Sox at 86.6 percent and Royals at 82.7 percent), with the Astros coming in 27th from among 30 teams at just 64.3 percent.

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ARLINGTON -- One of the Astros' goals this season was to be more efficient on the bases. So far, so good. They were successful on their first eight stolen base attempts of the season before shortstop Jonathan Villar was thrown out trying to steal in the third inning of Sunday's game.

The goal, third-base coach Pat Listach says, is to be 80 percent successful while stealing bases. Last year, only two teams finished higher than 80 percent (Red Sox at 86.6 percent and Royals at 82.7 percent), with the Astros coming in 27th from among 30 teams at just 64.3 percent.

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"We think if it's less than 80 percent, you're doing more harm than good," Listach said. "We've tried to pick the right spots and let them go."

Jose Altuve has four stolen bases, Jonathan Villar has three and Robbie Grossman has one. Listach says all the speed guys, including Dexter Fowler, have the green light for the most part from manager Bo Porter.

"We want them going 'til we hit a stop sign," he said. "Certain situations, when [Jason] Castro is up or [Chris] Carter is up and we don't want to run into an out, we'll stop them. For the most part, Altuve, Villar, Dexter, these guys have the green light. They've been really good.

"I know in the past -- I don't want talk about last year -- but I was told Villar ran into some outs on the bases. We tried to eliminate that. You only get 27 outs. You can't give them outs. You give the other team outs, you end up losing. The same thing goes on defense."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros, Jonathan Villar