In moving to the American League this season, the Houston Astros have primarily been faced with much of the same, a team that has failed to pull it together and become a legitimate contender.
Before May 27, the Astros held onto an AL worst 14-36 record and had surrendered 291 runs to their opponents, most in the major leagues.
However, over the course of the past ten games, the Astros have surged to become one of hottest teams in baseball, winning eight of those games which included a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels and a six-game winning streak that lasted from May 29 to June 3.
In 15 games since May 18, Castro has batted .358 (19-for-53) with five home runs and nine RBI, capped by two-run home run in Wednesday’s 11-7 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Pena contributed with a two-run homer of his own in Wednesday’s victory, continuing his recent offensive hot streak. In his past 11 games, Pena has batted .300 (12-for-40) with three home runs and eight RBI, and has seen his strikeout rate drop dramatically from past seasons in the process.
Although the Astros remain fifth in the AL West standings with the worst record in the AL, Houston has improved their record to 22-38 and is only four games back off third place in the division standings.
The Astros look to take their third straight series with a win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, after winning three of four against the Colorado Rockies and sweeping the Angels in four games.