SEATTLE -- Astros manager Bo Porter invited George Springer to sit alongside him in the dugout Saturday afternoon for his daily pregame chat with the media. Springer jokingly provided some details about how he told Porter he was ready to rejoin the lineup.
"I in the training room and I told him 'Springer nine,'" he said. "He didn't know what that meant, and I told him 'I'm going to play nine today.'"
"I asked him if he wanted to hit ninth, and he said 'No,'" Porter responded.
Springer was all smiles upon returning to the lineup after missing two games with a strained right hip flexor. He was in right field, batting second, belting a pair of two-run homers to erase any doubt about his health.
When asked before the game if it felt better than he did on Friday, Springer said with a smile: "I'm in there."
Springer did some agility work in the outfield with head athletic trainer Nate Lucero and outfield instructor Tarrik Brock earlier in the day before he was given the green light to play.
"I'm excited," he said. "I'm in there. That's all that matters. I get to play baseball today."
Springer suffered the injury in the ninth inning Wednesday in Anaheim when he dived back into first base on a pickoff. He entered Friday hitting.353 during a five-game hitting streak that included a homer Wednesday against Jered Weaver.
"He obviously makes our team better," Porter said. "I'm a little bit happier when he's in the lineup than when he's not in the lineup. Getting him back in the lineup is definitely a boost for our ballclub."