HOU@MIN: Springer launches solo homer to center

PHOENIX -- Rookie outfielder George Springer was out of the Astros' lineup with right knee soreness for the second straight game on Tuesday.

Springer missed Monday's 4-3 win against the D-backs as well, and he said before Tuesday's game that he thought could step in if needed.

"If I can breathe, I can play," Springer said.

Manager Bo Porter said Springer told him that he felt better than he did on Monday, and Springer thought that he may be available to pinch-hit.

"We'd just rather be safe than sorry," Porter said. "We'll let it subside and get treatment. The fact that he feels a whole lot better today than he did yesterday is even better news."

Springer was named the American League Rookie of the Month for May after hitting 10 home runs and batting .294. He leads the Astros with 35 RBIs.

"We'll get home tomorrow and let him get running around a little bit," Porter said. "If we don't have any ill effects, he'll be back in there."

Singleton working through swift transition to bigs

HOU@MIN: Singleton hammers Astros' second grand slam

PHOENIX -- Not many players go from the Minor Leagues to a No. 3 hitter for a Major League club quickly, but that's what Astros first baseman Jon Singleton has done in the span of a week.

With fellow rookie slugger George Springer out for the second straight game, Singleton has taken up the third spot in the lineup against the D-backs.

"Jon Singleton is a really good player," manager Bo Porter said. "You look at even him getting plugged into the three-hole [Monday], it was more centered around Springer getting scratched, but he's been swinging the bat well."

As the No. 3 hitter in the Astros' 4-3 win against the D-backs on Monday, Singleton went 1-for-5 with a strikeout, but he also came around to score a run.

Singleton's first week in the Major Leagues has been an eventful one. He's already appeared on highlight reels thanks to his first big league grand slam, which came on Sunday against the Twins, and was part of a pair of grand slams in the same game. Teammate Chris Carter also hit one.

"Really, I'm just having fun," Singleton said. "I'm just glad to be here and taking it all in. It's a great experience."

Although Singleton has made a quick splash, he's not lighting up the league with his numbers. Through seven games, he has a .200 batting average and a .659 OPS.

Cold streaks to start careers aren't anything new -- Springer struggled when he was first called up before going on a tear and hitting 10 home runs in May.

Singleton isn't resting on his laurels now that he's with the Major League club. Before Monday's and Tuesday's games, Singleton has spent time watching video.

"I'm just watching it to see what's going on," Singleton said.

The Astros have been on a roll lately, winning six of their last 10 and 18 of their last 30. Singleton hasn't been a part of all those games, but he's certainly enjoying the ride.

"It's pretty cool," Singleton said. "We all want to go out and win, so we can all do our part and can definitely help the ballclub win."

Porter prefers traditional series format

The Astros and D-backs head to Houston for two more games.

PHOENIX -- The Astros' two games against the D-backs in Phoenix and two games in Houston are technically considered two separate series, but for Astros manager Bo Porter, they may as well be one four-game set.

"Really, it's a four-game series, in my opinion," Porter said. "You're playing the same team four days in a row. It just so happens two are in their ballpark and two in your ballpark."

If you ask Porter, he'd rather stick to traditional series formats.

"I'm not a fan of the two-game series," Porter said. "I would rather either play three or four in one place and keep it at that."

Regardless, the split set of games does allow the team to get home quicker and gives them a chance to improve their 14-18 home record.

"We'll head home tonight and play two games at home," Porter said.