HOUSTON -- Catcher Carlos Corporan credits a new focus for his better numbers at the plate in 2012 after batting .188 in 154 at-bats in 2011.
"Instead of going out there to get a base hit, I'm trying to get a good at-bat," Corporan said. "Last year, I was probably trying to do too much and didn't have good success."
Entering Saturday's game, Corporan was batting .298 with a .511 slugging percentage. He had a solo homer and an RBI single in Friday's walk-off victory. He's been with the Astros since July 15 when catcher Jason Castro hit the disabled list with right knee effusion.
Manager Brad Mills said Corporan's performance in 2011 wasn't necessarily indicative of his ability because the Astros asked him to play behind the plate four or five times a week while regular catchers J.R. Towles and Humberto Quintero were injured.
"It just really wore down on him," Mills said. "I think he's able to stay a little fresher right now which enables us to maybe get a little more out of him."
Corporan's better performance, albeit in a 47 at-bat sample, doesn't mean his spot in the Majors is safe.
Castro is set to return to the Astros on Monday before their series in Chicago, if he completes his second nine-inning game with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday without any setbacks.
Veteran catcher Chris Snyder, who's batting .170 in 171 at-bats, has been with the Astros all season. Teams rarely carry three catchers, so Corporan understands that he could be dealing with a change soon.
"I'll do everything they ask me for," Corporan said. "Every time they put me in the lineup, I will give my 100 percent."
He certainly gave it his all on his solo home run on Friday. Believing the ball was going to fall for a double, Corporan sprinted around the bases. He didn't slow down even after discovering the ball left the park.
"I was running hard so I just kept running hard. Just get it over with," Corporan said. "Whether you run fast or you run slow, a home run is a home run."