Schafer reaches base again, ties Astros record

Schafer reaches base again, ties Astros record

HOUSTON -- Two days ago, Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer was wincing in pain, grabbing his lower back after a strikeout against the Mets and leaving the game prematurely.

In the Astros' 5-4 win against the Cardinals on Friday, things appeared just fine as he tied a club record.

Schafer's eighth-inning walk extended his streak of reaching base safely (not counting errors) to 25 games to start the season. That ties him with Denis Menke (1969) for the Astros record.

"He sets the table for us," said manager Brad Mills. "He does what we need him to do."

Schafer reached twice earlier in the game on errors, scoring both times. He also stole a pair of bases.

He'll likely have a chance to set a new club mark on Saturday night against St. Louis left-hander Jaime Garcia. Schafer appeared in good spirits before and after the game, and Mills said he expected no long-term effects from Schafer's recent back issue.

"He seems fine," said Mills. "I asked him how he was doing and he said it was fine. The trainer said there was no problem."

Schafer's on-base success is helping drive a remarkable turnaround for the Astros as a team. After finishing last in the Majors in walks a year ago, Houston is second in the NL in walks and on-base percentage in 2012.