Bo Porter is not going to apologize. He wants the game played his way. He requires smart hitting, smooth fielding and aggressive baserunning. The Astros failed in all three areas during critical moments Sunday. And even after his team had ended three innings with baserunning outs during a tight 5-4 loss to the American League West-rival Rangers at Rangers Ballpark, a first-year manager trying to set a long-term professional tone refused to give in when asked if his club had tried too hard to set its own agenda during a defeat that handed a three-game series to its in-state rival. “We’re an aggressive ballclub. And I’m never going to have our guys feel like they can’t be aggressive,” said Porter, whose team dropped its 19th series of the season, again fell 25 games below .500 and is on pace for 104 losses with five tough road contests against St. Louis and Tampa Bay remaining before the All-Star break. “It’s one of those things where if you run-and-hit or hit-and-run, if the ball is put in play, great,” Porter said. “If the ball is not put in play, the guy is probably going to be out. It’s one of those things where you push the envelope because you’re looking to ignite the offense.” The Astros (32-57) entered Sunday ranked 29th in on-base percentage (.294) and 28th in batting average (.235). With a club that’s 4-11 in its last 15 games regularly relying on home runs (88, 15th in MLB) to dig itself out of offensive droughts, Porter has often attempted to fire up the Astros since spring training with an up-tempo attack on the bases. Only one player (Jose Altuve, 21) has more than nine stolen bases, however, and many of the Astros are average runners at best. On Sunday, a winnable game against an inefficient Rangers club that coughed up a 3-0 first-inning lead and allowed the Astros to tie the contest at 4 in the top of the fifth ended up being washed away by mental miscues and aggressive baserunning that backfired at the worst possible times.
Astros offer no apologies for aggressive ways after loss to Rangers
Houston Chronicle | Jul 8