HOUSTON -- Manager Brad Mills wasn t being facetious when he said that his team s major league-worst 9-32 record away from Houston in the first half of the season was a big roadblock.

As the Astros limp into the second half with baseball s worst record, Mills biggest task is to help his young team win on the road. They ll do it without the leadership of Carlos Lee, one of the team s only veterans. He was traded to Miami last week.

Houston s chance to improve begins immediately after the break when the Astros embark on a 10-game West Coast swing to face the Giants, Padres and Diamondbacks.

The Astros are 24-21 at home.

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