HOUSTON -- The team with baseball's best record on the road would like to start flexing some muscle at home.
The Astros, who are a Major League-best 12-4 away from home, will open a nine-game homestand on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. Houston is a pedestrian 8-8 at home, having lost three in a row there.
"We have to play better at home," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We haven't played a ton at home in a row. It will be nice to have a long homestand. We have three teams coming in, but there's no doubt we can have a competitive advantage at home, and should."
The Astros will play their next 16 out of 23 games at home. With the team holding a five-game lead in first place in the American League West and school soon ending for summer break, Houston expects attendance to start picking up in early June, which could help create some buzz at home.
The Astros are built for Minute Maid Park, where right-handed pull-power hitters like Evan Gattis, George Springer and Chris Carter should be able take advantage of the Crawford Boxes and the short porch in left field, especially against left-handed pitching.
At home, Houston has hit 22 homers in 16 games and is averaging 3.2 runs per game. On the road, the Astros have hit 23 homers in 16 games, but they are averaging 5.6 runs per game. They hadn't been held to fewer than nine hits on the road until the four-game series at Anaheim last weekend.
"It's not something that's like, a conscious thing among the players," catcher Jason Castro said of playing better at home. "We're trying to go out every day, no matter where we are, and win that day. That's just how it's played out so far."
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.