When Astros outfielder George Springer heats up at the plate, there's really nothing any opposing pitcher can do but ride out the storm. Just ask the Orioles. Or the Twins. Or the Rangers, who had a front-row seat Sunday to Springer at his best.Springer went 3-for-5 with a pair of
When Astros outfielder George Springer heats up at the plate, there's really nothing any opposing pitcher can do but ride out the storm. Just ask the Orioles. Or the Twins. Or the Rangers, who had a front-row seat Sunday to Springer at his best.
Springer went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs -- including his sixth leadoff homer of the season -- as the Astros won their 10th game in a row, 7-2, to polish off a three-game sweep of the Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. He has seven homers in his past eight games, and five in the last four games. Houston has won 10 straight.
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"There's no real secret," Springer said. "Just trying to hit the ball hard, stay within myself and get on base for the guys up behind me."
Any time he has a big game, Springer talks about "hitting the ball hard" or "trying to get on base for the guys behind me," so let manager A.J. Hinch explain what his leadoff hitter means to the team.
"He's a tone-setter, and that's exactly why he's up there," he said. "It's obviously fun when he kick-starts us like that, there's just an energy boost in our dugout. Then he came through with another one, and [Carlos Correa], we just continue to show that we can score any inning. We just need to get our guys in position to do damage, and we do."
During his nine-game hitting streak, Springer is hitting .476 with a .511 on-base percentage and 1.000 slugging percentage for a 1.511 OPS. He's 20-for-42 with seven home runs and 13 RBIs during the streak.
Springer has been a streaky player throughout his career. Prior to his nine-game hitting streak, he was batting .210 with two homers and six RBIs in his previous 16 games. He's raised his average to .280 from .235 the past nine games.
"He's an elite player, and when he gets going, he can do a ton of damage," Hinch said. "Obviously, he's doing it with power, he's doing it with defense, he's got energy, he's very much at the top of his game right now in this stretch that he's playing, so obviously he's a big spark for us."
Springer led off the game with a homer off Martin Perez to get the Astros going. Hit another solo homer in the fourth off Perez for his third multi-homer game of the season and second on the team's current road trip.
"They were two fastballs in," said Springer. "Just, like I said, trying to hit the ball hard. I know that I'm hitting first in that situation, especially to lead off the game, and just trying to hit the ball hard."
With 16 homers through 57 team games, Springer is on pace to shatter his career best of 29 homers, set last year in 162 games.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.