Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/11/12
For a road trip that has the looks of a killer for the Houston Astros, it has started well. Winning two of three from the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox not only gave the Astros their first road-series win of the year, but takes them into San Francisco on Tuesday with a great deal of offensive confidence. In the two Astros wins they scored eight and eleven runs respectively while finding the home run ball in both games. In fact the Astros homered in all three games with Jed Lowrie providing the only run in the middle game 10-1 loss. Yes, it has been a strange last four games. The club was wiped out in their final home game against the Cardinals on Thursdaythen wiped out the Sox on Fridaygot blasted out again on Saturday and came back on Sunday returning the favor. Sunday's final was much closer than most of the game. Three walks and a grand slam by Paul Konerko off Fernando Rodriguez to start the bottom of the ninth reduced the Astros' margin, but Brett Myers was happy to finish things out and get his 15th save. Lucas Harrell pitched a fine game in getting into the 8th inning. The former Chicago White Sox hurler won his sixth starts for Houston and now is the biggest winner on the club. Impressive was the work of the home run hitters, J.D. Martinez, Justin Maxwell, Brett Wallace and Jose Altuve. Wallace, who is hitting around .400 since being recalled from Oklahoma City to hold down the fort at first base while Carlos Lee recovers from a hamstring injury, hit two homers in the three games and may make some decision making tougher for the club when Lee is ready to play again. He will have about another week to keep things going. Lee took regular batting practice for the first time and worked out on the infield. He also did some extra running and is confident he will be ready to play as soon as his disabled time is up in a few days. Maxwell was only in Sunday's lineup because Jordan Schafer continues to be felled by illness. He hit another impressively long home run. Measured at 461 feet down the left field line it almost disappeared. In fact White Sox manager Robin Ventura asked for a fair-foul review. Max had two hits in the game which boosted his still low batting average past the .230 mark. As for Schafer, he has been battling a respiratory problem but was diagnosed with conjunctivitis on Sunday. Probably virus related and not as contagious as the bacterial form, Manager Brad Mills has his fingers crossed nothing will spread through the club. Mills himself was not feeling too chipper on Sunday and planned to take it easy in the hotel on the Astro day off on Monday. Meanwhile, third baseman Chris Johnson, who had a severe gastrointestinal problem and missed Saturday's game, returned to action on Sunday with no ill effects. Midwest weather delays trip to San Francisco The Astros' departure from Chicago to the West Coast was delayed out of Midway Airport due to weather conditions in the Midwest over Nebraska. Flights westward out of both Chicago airports and Milwaukee had to be re-routed. Boarded and ready to leave at 6pm it was not until about 7:30 before the plane was wheels up and in the air. The flight time was just over four hours and arrival was about an hour later than planned. If the road trip is going to continue to be successful the Astros will have some very tough starting pitchers to face. Giants hurlers have a league leading five complete game shutouts. Houston will face Baumgarner, Cain and Zito. All three have excellent earned run averages. The Astros will start the series Tuesday with Bud Norris. FSHouston will open things with Astros Live Pregame at 8:30pm with the first pitch set for 9:15. The Astros continue to out perform what most had expected. If that can continue in San Francisco and again in Texas before the club returns home in a week even the most remote and unlikely dreams are not out of the question. That is why the season is 162 games long. As Yogi Berra was credited with saying, It isn't over till it's over.
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