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Astros staying loose during current surge

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ANAHEIM -- The Astros entered Sunday on a season-high four-win streak, but they have been playing winning baseball for the past several weeks.

The Astros are 9-7 in their past 16 games, with 11 of those having been decided by two runs or less -- in which the Astros are 7-4.

"We've been playing really good ball," Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said. "Every single game we've been battling, those four games we won, and we're going to keep playing hard."

Although the season did not begin the way the Astros would have liked, the team kept focus on the big picture.

Now, the results have been more favorable, and there is a positive energy and attitude in the clubhouse.

"When you win it's always more fun," reliever Brad Peacock said. "But even when things weren't going well, we were doing the same thing -- being loose and having fun."

Although it can be hard to stay loose when the results are not coming, Astros manager Bo Porter says focusing on simply playing the game rather than expectations and the media can help.

"I love baseball, I love these guys, I love the organization," Porter said. "A lot of times we get caught up in the wins, the losses and the expectations, and we forget that this is a game that we all started playing when we were 5 years old and would do it for free."

William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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