Valbuena comes alive with 5-RBI outburst

Valbuena comes alive with 5-RBI outburst

BOSTON -- Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena's career-high five RBIs in Sunday afternoon's 10-9 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park matched the total from his previous 101 at-bats, thanks to two mighty swings of the lumber.

Valbuena launched his second home run of the year in the second inning, a three-run shot that gave the Astros a 3-2 lead, and added a bases-loaded double in the fifth that scored a pair and would have cleared the bases had it not bounced over the low wall in right-center for a ground-rule double.

Valbuena's two-run double

"I have to keep on working hard and never stop," said Valbuena, who hit a career-high 25 homers last year and drove in 56 runs. "I know I have some days a bad game, but I have to forget about it and come the next day and do my best."

Valbuena joins Colby Rasmus (April 23 against Boston) as the only Astros players to have five RBIs in a game this year, doubling his season total to 10. Valbuena is hitting .256 (11-for-43) in his last 11 games, with a .333 on-base percentage.

"He's looking better," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Obviously, the big home run was nice to get us back in the game and give us the lead. His swings the other way are indicating he's really trying to get back on the ball as opposed to pull off the ball. He's been a potent part of the bottom part of our lineup. He was big for us for most of last season and he's trying. He dug himself a hole statistically, but if he continues to put swings like that together he'll come out of this."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.