HOUSTON -- Having recently set the club single-season strikeout record, Astros outfielder Chris Carter remains focused on trying to cut down on his swings and misses while finding a way to break out of his month-long funk.
Carter, whose 151 strikeouts entering play Saturday led the American League, is hitting .130 (10-for-77) since July 4, with two homers, eight RBIs and 36 strikeouts in that span. His batting average has dropped to .209 from .231.
"I've never thought about the record or anything like that," Carter said. "It's part of the game and just something I've always kind of done, but the last few years I've tried to cut back. Sometimes you can't help it."
Astros manager Bo Porter remains committed to Carter, thanks to his raw power. Carter leads the club with 19 home runs and is second with 52 RBIs.
"Guys that have that kind of power can change the game in one swing," Porter said. "It's light-tower power. At some point you say enough at-bats is enough, but I think at [682 career at-bats] and one season with the Houston Astros isn't enough to say that. Let's face it, there's not guys who are falling out of trees that have the kind of power this man has."
Carter has proven to be streaky, but he can carry a club at times. He hit .526 with four homers and seven RBIs in a four-game stretch earlier this year. Still, Porter would like to see him not swing and miss at pitches out of the strike zone so much.
"I think we have to play this thing out," Porter said. "Some people, they were looking to say, 'Why continue on?' You continue on because every so often he reminds you what it is he can do. You just hope it becomes more consistent from a positive standpoint."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less