TORONTO -- Astros outfielder Marc Krauss went from playing every day at Triple-A Oklahoma City to getting sporadic starts since he was called up on June 21 when Trevor Crowe ran into an outfield wall and injured his shoulder.
Krauss made his 11th start of the season on Friday, batting seventh and playing left field. He made his presence felt early, as he hit his second homer of the year, a two-run shot off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, in the second inning. He added a two-run double in the fourth to match his career RBI total in one night, but the Astros lost to the Blue Jays, 12-6.
Krauss has started seven games in left field, two in right and two as designated hitter, and entered Friday hitting .175 with one home run and four RBIs.
"It's an adjustment, definitely," Krauss said. "It's the first time I've ever been a bench-type guy. It's a different preparation. Every day you've got to prepare like you're in there, even if you're not. I just always do my early work and make sure my swing feels good, because at a moment's notice you could be put in there, and every few days get to start and you have to take advantage of those days."
Krauss has grown a bit more accustomed to the role in the last month, but has yet to find his groove at the plate after hitting .277 with nine homers, 35 RBIs and 43 walks for the RedHawks. Still, he said it's important not to put pressure on himself when he does start.
"I'm excited, definitely, just to get the opportunity to be in there," he said. "Every time you see your name in the lineup, it's exciting. You get to perform and do what you love. I don't really feel the pressure that 'Geez, if I don't do well today, I might not play for a few days.' That's just baseball.
"Sometimes you're going to hit it hard and not get many hits, and maybe get jammed a couple of times and find hits. You really can't control the results. You just have to have a good mindset coming in and control what you can control."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.