Jason Castro was well-deserving of his all-star selection, but since the mid-summer classic, Castro cooled off considerably. His average even dipped below .260 at one point, but since the calender turned to August, the Astros' best player in 2013 is back.
Castro has a hit in 16 of 18 games in August, and after going 3-for-3 with a double and two home runs on Saturday, he is batting .365 this month.
And from what I can tell, it was an awesome night for TCB writer/resident female, Terri Schlather.
Brandon Barnes drove in Castro and Brett Wallace with a double to get things started for Houston in the second inning. The Astros added another when Jonathan Villar used his speed to help induce an error by Jose Reyes to score Barnes, making it 3-0 against Toronto's Chien-Ming Wang.
On-base machine L.J. Hoes led off the fourth with a walk and two batters later, with a 3-2 count, Castro was able to turn around an 80-mile per hour splitter from Wang and put it in the seats to give Houston a 5-0 advantage. Cue Terri swooning.
Wang's day was over after three, but the Astros didn't stop scoring. Another Reyes error allowed Barnes to reach, before Toronto's Chad Jenkins got two outs in the fourth. But the corner outfielders at the top of the lineup continued to stay hot, especially in big situations. Robbie Grossman doubled home Barnes, and Hoes followed with a double of his own to stretch the Houston lead to 7-0.
Hoes continues to TurnUp in the month of August - now hitting .370 for the month.
Brad Peacock faced only 14 batters as he breezed through his first four innings while the offense staked him to the big lead before the old gopher ball came back to haunt Peacock again.
In the fifth, it was Kevin Pillar who had his double reviewed and overturned into a three-run home run. Then to start the sixth, Edwin Encarnacion drilled his 33rd home run of the year, and fourth in six games against Houston this year, to make it 7-4, Astros.
After allowing a single, Peacock got two outs, but was pulled in favor of Kevin Chapman.
The bullpen continued their recent success as Chapman, Josh Zeid (two hits, one earned run) and Josh Fields all recorded holds before giving way to Chia-Jen Lo for the save opportunity. Castro added his second homer of the night, a solo blast, in the bottom of the seventh as well to help pad the lead.
Lo surrendered only a one-out single in the ninth on the way to his second-career save and an Astros series win.
That makes six wins in Houston's last eight games against teams not named the Texas Rangers and six of 11 overall. Dallas Keuchel will get the call for the Astros on Sunday as they try to complete their first sweep since taking three in Anaheim, June 1-3.