Inconsistent Astros Tough To Gauge
Can Trip To KC Become Cure-All?

Tucker: Launches 100th Career HR
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
Astro fans must be going mad watching their team this year. The defending World Champions can't seem to launch a definitive move. Since mid-August, the Spacemen have been swept by Seattle, swept the Red Sox, were swept by the Yankees, swept the Rangers and were almost swept by the lowly Athletics. Will the REAL Astros please stand up?

A good team would have pulled ahead of the Mariners and Rangers in the A.L. West. Beginning Friday, Houston remains a tiny half-game leader over the Arlington gang with the M's just a game behind.

Perhaps a road trip to Kansas City could be the tonic. Houston's road record (45-27) this year isn't shabby while their mark in front of friendly fans (38-37) is downright disappointing. Maybe these guys don't want home team advantage in the postseason. They've been playing like it. =====================================================

Recent results:
Athletics 4, Astros 0
Athletics 6, Astros 2
Astros 6, Athletics 2
Star: Hunter Brown - 5 no-hit innings (two walks, 7 strikeouts) =====================================================

Upcoming games:
9/15 @KC, 7:10 p.m.
9/16 @KC, 6:10 p.m.
9/17 @KC, 1:10 p.m.

- Bob Hulsey