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Porter preaches patience to slumping offense

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OAKLAND -- With so many Astros players in slumps to start the year, manager Bo Porter said he told the guys on Friday during the pre-series hitters' meeting to clear their minds. The Astros began play Friday hitting .188 as a team, which was the lowest batting average in baseball.

Porter reminded the players the season was still only two weeks old and their sample sizes and number of at-bats were small.

"You can get caught up real easy," he said. "Just as fast as a guy can go 1-for-20, he can go 10-for-20 and they think, 'Wow, this guy is the best player ever.' It all comes in cycles."

The last thing the Astros want to do now is fill the players' heads with complexities.

"The message that we've been delivering to these guys all day is we told them to come out and let your hair down and be nice and loose and have fun," Porter said. "If we continue to play defense and get good pitching, when it all comes together, we're going to hit our stride and win a lot of ballgames."

Brian McTaggart is 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.

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