Given the vast difference in their respective payrolls, the Houston Astros probably didn't think they would occupy a higher spot in the standings than the Los Angeles Angels.
The Astros, though, are just above the last-place Angels, who are off to their worst start in 52 years entering Friday night's series opener in Anaheim.
With a combined 213 losses in the past two seasons, the Astros were hardly expected to be competitive when they moved to the formidable AL West, and their $27 million payroll didn't give them much to work with.
As likely predicted, Houston (3-6) has started slowly but did win its final two games in Seattle earlier this week. After getting outscored 37-9 during a six-game slide, the Astros earned that pair of victories by a combined 24-12 margin and totaled 38 hits.
Chris Carter led the way with seven hits, three homers, and five RBIs in those games, and Marwin Gonzalez had five hits, including a homer in each victory, while raising his team-best average to ...