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Astros slugger Carter stands out on defense

OAKLAND -- It's never too late to see something new. Just ask Astros manager Bo Porter in the wake of his team's 141st game on Friday night, during which left fielder Chris Carter stood out for his defense.

Carter, who has played 44 of his 129 games this season in left field, made a full-length dive to steal a hit from A's outfielder Chris Young in the fifth inning. The snag brought a smile to his face and earned him a handshake from center fielder Brandon Barnes.

"That's the first time I've seen him leave his feet the whole season," Porter said on Saturday. "It was a really good play."

Carter's other significant defensive play came three pitches later: He committed a one-base error on A's slugger Brandon Moss' single.

Porter said he would have preferred that Carter "run through the ball." There is a tendency, the skipper said, to simply catch up to it when a left-handed hitter such as Moss slices a ball down the left-field line.

As for Saturday's penultimate game of the teams' series, a 1:05 p.m. PT start, Porter expected his outfielders to be challenged by the brightness of the day.

"I've done it. It's tough. This is a really tough ballpark with the sun," Porter said, referencing his own playing days at the Coliseum. "As the game starts to progress, it's just going to move. You have to really allow the ball get to its highest point, block the sun, shield it and then attack the baseball."

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to
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