HOUSTON (AP)Houston’s powerful offense got a boost with a breakout game from rookie Taylor Jones, helping the Astros to another rout of the Seattle Mariners.
Jones had a career-high four RBIs and finished a single shy of the cycle, and Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run homer as the Astros beat Seattle 15-1 on Saturday.
”He’s made some adjustments … he’s swinging the bat great and he has corrected some flaws,” manager Dusty Baker said.
The victory comes after Houston won the series opener 12-3 on Friday night. The AL West-leading Astros are 5-1 against the Mariners at home this season and have outscored them 41-12 in those games.
”Not our day here the last couple of days,” manager Scott Servais said. ”You have to give the Astros credit. They blew our doors off the last couple of days.”
After hitting a triple in the sixth inning, Jones was angling to complete the cycle on his last at-bat in the eighth inning.
”I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in the back of my mind,” he said. ”I had a good pitch, but I missed it and popped it up.”
Jose Altuve added a season best four hits to help the Astros to their third straight win after losing four in a row.
”We have great hitters,” Altuve said. ”From the leadoff to the ninth hitter, everybody can do damage. We can be very dangerous when we focus on what we’re doing.”
After jumping on starter Yusei Kikuchi for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on Friday, the Astros got to rookie Logan Gilbert (5-5) early on Saturday, too.
They were up 1-0 with no outs in the third inning when rookie Jacob Wilson tripled for the first extra-base hit of his career. Wilson scored on a wild pitch by Gilbert before a single by Altuve with one out. Carlos Correa walked with two outs before Alvarez homered for a second straight game, extending the lead to 5-0.
Jones, whose three hits were also a career best, opened Houston’s fifth with his shot to left-center to make it 6-0.
Houston starter Jake Odorizzi (6-6) yielded four hits and one run with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings to bounce back after allowing a season-high eight hits with four runs in his last start.
Altuve got things going in the fifth when he doubled with no outs and scored on a single by Michael Brantley. There were two outs in the inning when Yuli Gurriel singled to chase Gilbert. He was replaced by Robert Duggar, who was greeted with an RBI double by Jones. Jake Meyers drove in a run with a single and scored on a double by Wilson, giving Houston an 11-0 lead.
Altuve batted for the second time in the inning after a walk by Martin Maldonado and singled to drive in another run.
Gilbert permitted eight hits and a career-high nine runs in 4 2/3 innings for his third consecutive loss.
”He just struggled to put them away,” Servais said. ”It’s a very veteran team over there that doesn’t panic.”
Seattle’s Mitch Haniger hit his 28th home run with a shot to left field in the sixth inning.
Jones drove in two runs with a triple in a three-run sixth inning that made it 15-1.
Mariners: RHP Diego Castillo was placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder on Saturday, retroactive to Friday. … Duggar was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to take his spot on the roster.
Astros: RF Chas McCormick was scratched from the lineup about an hour before the game with soreness in his left hand. … 3B Alex Bregman (left quadriceps strain) worked out at Minute Maid Park on Saturday after resuming his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. General manager James Click said he’ll return to play in Sugar Land on Sunday, but wasn’t sure how many more games he’ll need before he’s activated. … RHP Jose Urquidy (right shoulder discomfort) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session in Houston on Sunday before beginning a rehabilitation assignment with Sugar Land next week.
MAKE IT A TRIPLE
The Astros hit two triples on Saturday after Altuve and Correa each hit one in Friday night’s game to give Houston consecutive games with two or more triples for the sixth time in franchise history, and the first time since Aug. 2-3, 1990.
Houston’s Framber Valdez (8-4, 3.16 ERA) opposes Tyler Anderson (6-8, 4.10) when the Astros try to complete the series sweep Sunday.
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