Hinch looking for more production at first

Carter, Singleton hope to break out on offense

Hinch looking for more production at first

CLEVELAND -- Jon Singleton got the start at first base over Chris Carter for the Astros in Thursday's series finale against the Indians as manager A.J. Hinch continues to wait for some increased production from the position.

The Astros ranked 13th in the American League in OPS at first base at .680 and last in batting average. Singleton, who was called up June 26, entered Thursday hitting .130 (3-for-23) with 12 strikeouts. Carter was hitting .190 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs and was riding a 6-for-58 slump that included three homers and two doubles.

"We'd like one of them to get hot and they both have the capabilities of doing it and trying to match them up," Hinch said. "Chris Carter had spurts. We've seen it in the past. He's played pretty good defense. He's a very balanced player. Singleton, having just gotten up here, hasn't gotten off to a start everyone had hoped for, but that doesn't mean today's not the day he can do that."

Both Singleton and Carter have impact potential and have shown it before. Carter had a torrid 52-game stretch last year when he hit 23 homers and 55 RBIs and had a 1.033 OPS, and the Astros are still holding out hope he can break out again.

Carter's 100th career homer

"The track record is there," Hinch said. "He's done it. He's up to 100 home runs in his career, 30-plus last year. Any given night, we've seen him impact the game in a big way and a lot of times you have to leave him in the lineup to give yourself a chance at that impact.

"Singleton's the same way. He's early in his career. He's had some impact before. Last year -- I wasn't here to see it -- but he has the powerful swing when he can get a good pitch to hit. I like the potential of both of those guys in that position, and hopefully they start contributing a little more consistently."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.