ST. LOUIS -- The Astros have struck out more than any team in the majors. They've made the most errors and their bullpen has the highest ERA. They own the worst run differential in the majors and settled into last place in the AL West weeks ago.
And guess what? The Astros are doing better than expected.
With only a handful of proven big leaguers on the roster and the organization still early in massive rebuild, the Astros entered 2013 with the look of a team destined for a third consecutive season of 105-plus losses. Losing 30 of their first 40 games did little to dispel the notion.
But since the middle of May, the Astros have played, well, pretty darn well. Their 19-18 record since May 15 is tied for 11th in the majors and just 2.5 games worse than the Cardinals during that stretch.
The Astros enter their first interleague meeting against their former division rival on a better roll than the Cardinals. Houston has won six of its last 10, including a 5-2 home stand last week. ...