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Astros want more versatility from offense

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SEATTLE -- Home runs had accounted for 59.4 percent of the Astros' runs entering Wednesday, which is largely a product of the team's struggles with runners in scoring position. Houston ranked last in the Majors in batting average with runners in scoring position (.167) and batting average on balls in play (.233), which doesn't take into account home runs.

The Astros began play Wednesday tied for second with the White Sox in the American League with 25 home runs. The Angels, behind eight homers from Albert Pujols, ranked first in the AL with 31 homers. But the Astros were 29th in the Majors in RBIs (61), while the White Sox and Angels ranked second and third, respectively.

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"You don't want to live and die with the long ball," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "I will say, in the last few days we've been able to get some big two-out hits and hits with men in scoring position. Even the outs we're making, the at-bats have been real quality. That's not something you want to make a habit of, the majority of your runs coming via the home run. You want to string quality at-bats together with men in scoring position and use the whole field."

The Astros were 7-6 in games in which they had homered and 0-8 in games in which they didn't homer. They also ranked tied for first in the AL with seven multihomer games.

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.

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