Springer plugs back into power outlet
Hits go-ahead homer for first jack since coming off DL
HOUSTON -- If outfielder George Springer starts driving the ball and knocking in runs, the Astros' hit-or-miss offense could begin clicking at the right time.
Springer, who returned to action Sept. 4 after missing 53 games with a fractured wrist, hit his first home run and had his first multi-RBI game since coming off the DL to help the Astros to a 5-1 win over the A's on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
Springer has reached base safely in all 15 games since he came off the DL, but he has only four RBIs -- three in the last two games, including his fifth-inning tiebreaking homer Sunday. He hadn't homered since June 30.
"It's not really about the home run," said Springer, who's reached base in a career-high 20 consecutive games. "It's a big spot in the game to take the lead. I was able to propel us today, and I'm happy about that."
Even when he wasn't driving in runs, Springer was an impactful player with his defense and ability to draw walks. He made a diving catch to rob Billy Butler of a hit in the seventh inning Sunday.
"He's a dynamic player," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "The diving play on defense, great walk early in the game where he battled and controlled the strike zone. The pull homer is something he doesn't do a lot. He hits the ball to right-center quite a bit, and he just missed another homer later in the game."
Springer, who missed the second half of last season with a strained quad, only has 168 career games under his belt despite just turning 26 years old. To many, he's just getting his feet wet in the Major Leagues. His best may be yet to come.
"We want him to be productive, whether that's run scoring or run prevention, and he's doing that," Hinch said. "He's doing it a time where he really had no choice but to get ramped up very, very quickly after missing a lot of time. I'm impressed with how he's maintained his pace of play and composure during the hottest of moments."