Astros use long ball to clobber Mariners

Houston, TX ( – Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer run as
Houston went deep five times in an 11-4 victory over Seattle in the third of a
four-game series.

Evan Gattis clubbed a two-run homer, while Luis Valbuena, Colby Rasmus and
Hank Conger added solo shots for the Astros, who have ripped off nine straight

Houston is on its longest winning streak since winning nine in a row from
Sept. 20-28, 2006, and the team is three shy of the longest streak in
franchise history, which was accomplished both in 1999 and 2004.

“That was a pretty explosive night,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.

Collin McHugh (4-0) gave up four runs on six hits while walking two and
striking out three in seven innings.

Nelson Cruz hit two solo home runs while Logan Morrison and Mike Zunino gave
solo homers for the Mariners, who have dropped the first three of this set
after sweeping Texas in three games. Taijuan Walker (1-3) allowed eight runs
— seven earned — on nine hits over three-plus innings.

“Eleven runs will take the wind out your sail a little bit. It’s kind of tough
to come back from that,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Seattle got home runs from Cruz, Morrison and Zunino in the second, all solo
shots, for a 3-0 lead.

Houston answered in the home half with a run-scoring groundout from Marwin
Gonzalez, and RBI single off the bat of Jake Marisnick to make it a 3-2

The Astros went on top for good in the third as George Springer drew a two-out
walk and Gattis followed with his fourth homer of the year. Rasmus was next to
the plate and he knocked his fifth round-tripper for a 5-3 lead.

Houston used the long ball in the fourth to add to its lead, as the first two
batters reached base before Altuve clubbed his third homer of the year.
Valbuena added a solo homer later in the inning for a 9-3 advantage.

Cruz’s second homer of the night came in the sixth inning to cut Seattle’s
deficit to five.

Gonzalez, though, added an RBI double in the home sixth, and Conger’s leadoff
homers in the seventh made it an 11-4 game.

Game Notes

Altuve had his run of multi-hit games end at nine, but did extend his hitting
streak to 11 games … McHugh improved to 5-2 in seven starts against the
Mariners … Cruz leads the majors with 13 home runs.