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Astros hope shift to two-hole helps Springer

Astros hope shift to two-hole helps Springer

HOUSTON -- Astros manager Bo Porter hopes moving rookie outfielder George Springer up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order will help him get going offensively. Springer entered Tuesday with a .227 average while striking 39 times in 97 at-bats.

With catcher Jason Castro out of a lineup that was facing a lefty, Porter shifted Springer back to the second position -- behind Jose Altuve and ahead of Dexter Fowler.

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Springer picked up an RBI in the fourth inning with a single on the heels of Altuve's triple.

Porter wouldn't commit to keeping Springer in the two-hole long term, but he was hoping he would see more fastballs in that spot.

"He's been getting steady diet of breaking stuff," Porter said. "Part of the reason he hit second early in the year was to try to put some speed in front of him and behind him. Having Altuve, who's arguably our best basestealer, in front of him, hopefully we can buy him a few more fastballs."

Springer hit second in his first two games in the Major Leagues April 16-17 before being moved to fourth and later sixth.

"That was early in his Major League debut where obviously we have a little bit more body of work and we all understand how they're trying to pitch him," Porter said. "He understands how they're to pitch him, and the guys that are in hitting around him understand how they're trying to pitch him."

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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