6/12/2013 10:11 P.M. ET
Porter: Astros can benefit from rough stretch
By Jacob Thorpe / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- The Astros have endured a rough stretch, getting swept on the road at Kansas City and then dropping the first two games against Seattle thanks in large part to five errors.
"It's something that we talked about early back in Spring Training," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "And like I tell them, we are all men, one of the first steps to being a man is when you do something that is not right is to just stand up and accept responsibility for it."
But Porter also said that if his team can take responsibility for their performance during their recent struggles, they'll emerge better for it -- both as a team and as individual players.
"This is a challenging time, but there will be more challenging times as the season goes along. As their careers go on, you will have challenging times, and it's the guys who are able to come out on the other side that end up having ultimate success," Porter said.
Astros sign fifth-round pick Kemp
SEATTLE -- The Astros have signed fifth-round Draft pick Tony Kemp, a second baseman out of Vanderbilt University. He's the highest Astros Draft pick to have signed so far, doing so on the same day he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America magazine.
The 5-foot-7 Kemp was the SEC Player of the Year after batting .398 with 33 RBIs. He was also named to the conference's All-Defensive team.
Kemp announced the signing on Twitter, tweeting, "Officially a part of the Houston Astros! Thanks for all the love and support from Vandy fans the last 3 years. Always a #VandyBoy."
Kemp was Vanderbilt's leadoff hitter, taking the Commodores all the way to the NCAA super-regionals.
Martinez's multi-hit game comes up big Tuesday
SEATTLE -- As bad as things looked for Houston's offense during Tuesday's 4-0 loss in Seattle, things could have been much worse. J.D. Martinez's two hits were all that stood between Mariners starter Aaron Harang (5.60 ERA) and a no-hitter. Harang struck out 10 Astros and walked none.
Martinez's multi-hit game was one of the few bright spots of the first two games of the series against the Mariners, both of which Houston lost thanks in large part to five errors. Still, Martinez wasn't please by his performance.
"We didn't get the win. I mean, I felt like we weren't even in the game at all. [Harang] pitched a great game," Martinez said. "Not thinking about that, I got the hit in the second inning so it's not like it was something I was thinking about going up to the plate. The hits don't really matter if we don't even win."
• Carlos Corporan was in the lineup at catcher in place of Jason Castro. Porter said the idea was to give Castro two days off, including the team's travel day on Thursday. Corporan has made the most of such opportunities, going 25-of-74 (.338) at the plate entering Wednesday's game.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.