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Grossman showing flashes of strong 2013 finish

Grossman showing flashes of strong 2013 finish

HOUSTON -- Robbie Grossman once again looks like the guy who played so well in the final 2 1/2 months of last season. He's been doing his homework on the opposing pitchers and being selective about the pitches he swings at, and it's paying off.

Grossman reached base in eight of nine plate appearances against the Rangers on Friday and Saturday, hitting .800 (4-for-5) in that span. He has hit .458 (11-for-24) with three, eight runs, seven RBIs and a 1.510 OPS against the Rangers this season prior to Sunday.

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"I feel like I just put some good at-bats together and whatever I can do to help the team is my highest priority," he said.

Grossman, the team's Opening Day left fielder who's been sent to the Minor Leagues twice this year, hit .322 with an .816 OPS in his final 35 games of last season after getting recalled in July, including a 14-game hitting streak last August.

"Robbie's been swinging the bat well and has had great at-bats, and it reminds us of how well he played in the stretch last year, and we're hoping he can continue that and continue to perform the way he's been performing," manager Bo Porter said.

Grossman remained in the leadoff spot Sunday with the return of Jose Altuve, who had batted leadoff for 37 consecutive games before sitting out Saturday with a sore neck.

"That's where I'm most comfortable," he said. "It's where I spent my whole career is leadoff. It's what I know and do the best I can."

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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