Astros continue post-break offensive surge

Valbuena drives in four, while Rasmus, Tucker go deep

Astros continue post-break offensive surge

HOUSTON -- When the Astros are clicking on offense like they were Sunday afternoon, they can certainly make scoring runs look easy.

That wasn't the case, however, during their six-game losing streak they carried into the All-Star break in which they scored a total of seven runs, but they took out their offensive frustrations on the Rangers by bashing 13 hits in a 10-0 win at Minute Maid Park.

Houston has scored 16 runs in its past two games after scoring 10 runs in the previous seven games. The Astros were 11-for-31 with runners in scoring position in three games against the Rangers after going 0-for-20 in those spots in the four games heading into the break.

Tucker's two-run homer

"The middle part of our order was about as good as you could ask," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We drew six walks today and we didn't strike out a ton. We did damage. We hit a couple of homers. We really tacked on runs at the end. It was a complete offense we've seen before from our team."

Third baseman Luis Valbuena went 4-for-5 with a career-high-tying four RBIs and outfielder Preston Tucker went 3-for-5 with a homer and three runs scored. Rookie shortstop Carlos Correa was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two walks, Evan Gattis was 2-for-3 with a walk and Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer in the third.

"Today, everybody focused on their job because [Saturday] everybody was swinging at a lot of good pitches, and today everybody was focused and getting a good pitch to hit and that was the difference," Valbuena said. "Everybody hit a good pitch and when you get in a good situation, take a walk."

Rasmus' two-run homer

Valbuena, who has been stuck on 19 homers since June 23, had three singles and a double to snap an 0-for-7 funk with his 14th multihit game of the season.

"The singles are notable, man," Hinch said. "This guy has had a hard time finding singles and gets some home runs and extra-base hits, but it was nice to see him come back. We missed his power. He hasn't hit home runs in the last road trip this series, but he plays good defense over at third, he's got a lot of energy and he came up big with some big hits to break the game open."

As far as his home run stroke, Valbuena says he still has it.

"I've got my same swing and try to hit it hard every time," he said with a smile. "It's coming."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for 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.