Astros looking to improve on HRs allowed

Club's pitchers have given up 20 homers in 13 games, including 6 by Fiers

Astros looking to improve on HRs allowed

HOUSTON -- If there's one area the Astros would like to clean up two weeks into the season, it's keeping the opposition in the ballpark. The Astros surrendered three more homers in Sunday's 5-4 win over the Tigers, giving them 20 home runs allowed in 13 games.

That's the second-highest total in the American League behind the Rangers (22), who will play host to the Astros in a three-game series beginning Tuesday at Globe Life Park. Last year, the Astros allowed just 11 homers through the team's first 13 games.

"Clearly, we've given up our fair share of home runs," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Our guys are starting to throw better strikes. It's not as if they're trying to give up home runs, but they've got a good offense with the Rangers and we know the ball carries in Arlington. We'll have to do our part to either keep up with them or avoid big innings."

Sunday's starter, Mike Fiers, has been especially susceptible to the homer, allowing a team-high six in 16 2/3 innings this year. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ian Kinsler took him deep in the fifth inning, and close friend and college teammate J.D. Martinez homered against him in the sixth.

J. D. Martinez's solo home run

"The one inning giving up the two homers, they put good swings on it," Fiers said. "All I can say is I need to be better. That's what I've been saying after every start. I need to do it and stop saying it."

As far as the homer to Martinez, Fiers said striking him out in the second and getting him to ground into a fielder's choice in the fourth won't carry as much weight as the homer.

"I'm going to hear about that for a while," he said.

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.