The offense stole the show tonight in this one by jumping on Joe Saunders and the Mariners for 10 runs on 13 hits, with eight of them being of the extra base variety including three homeruns. Robbie Grossman made his major league debut today and got his career started in a huge way by clubbing two doubles. Not to be out done was Brandon Laird who had three hits, two doubles and a three-run homerun. On the other side of things Lucas Harrell pitched a solid game going seven strong and turning in his best outing of the season.
Lucas Harrell, who has had a few okay starts this season, and one horrible start so far turned in his best outing of the early season. While control issues have plagued the righty to start the season, he was able to get ahead early this game and limited the walks to just two. Harrell ended the afternoon going seven strong, and allowing six hits, and one earned run while recording five strikeouts. It was nice to see the starting rotation put together two solid outings against the Mariners.
Rhiner Cruz pitched a scoreless eight allowing two walks and recording one strikeout. Paul Clemens pitched a rocky ninth and gave up a solo homerun to Justin Smoak, and a double to Dustin Ackley. Ackley would later come around to score on a sharp single up the middle, which brought Clemens line to two runs on three hits and one strikeout.
Chris Carter got the scoring started for the Astros with a solo home run, his fifth homer of the season, in the second inning. Chris Carter also got things started with one out in the fourth by drawing a walk. Carlos Corporan followed with a single to right which put two on for shortstop Ronny Cedeno who hit his first homerun of the season, a three-run shot. That would be all the run support Lucas Harrell needed, but the Astros weren't quite done.
The newly promoted Robbie Grossman led off the fifth with a double, his second of the night, and came around to score one batter later on a Brandon Laird double down the left field line. One inning later thhe Astros broke things open when Ronny Cedeno recorded his third hit of the night, a double off the wall to left, which put runners on second and third for Matt Dominguez. Dominguez hit a single to left scoring Corporan and Cedeno and bringing the score to 7-1. Barnes kept the inning rolling with a single to right that put runners on the corners, and later stole second base with no outs in the inning. It looked like the Astros were going to strand the two on the bases with a Grossman strikeout, and an Altuve lineout, but enter Brandon Laird who continues his red hot start with the club by hitting the second three run homer by the Astros on the day.
There's a ton of performances to highlight here, but let's get things started with leadoff man Robbie Grossman making his major league debut. Grossman went 2-5 with two doubles on the night. It was a great moment for him as the local product was able to collect his first major league hit at home with his parents in the stands. Just a great way to start off his major league career.
Next up is Brandon Laird who went 3-4 with two doubles and a homerun and four RBI's. Laird has picked things up where he left off in Oklahoma City this year. Ronny Cedeno also joined Laird in the 3-4 club today and picked up a double and a three-run homer of his own. The Astros shortstops have produced much better than expected so far in the early season. Other Astros who had multi-hit games include Matt Dominguez (2-4), and Brandon Barnes (2-4). Jose Altuve went hitless, which is a rarity, and was unable to extend his nine game hitting streak.
Defensively Jose Altuve shined by making a very impressive diving play between first and second to rob Justin Smoak of a base hit.
Overall it was just a great performance by the Astros offense and nice to see Robbie Grossman make his major league debut, and also recording two doubles while doing it. It was also nice to see some of the other guys like Brandon Laird and Ronny Cedeno have huge days at the park. Hopefully the good guys can keep it going against the Red Sox tomorrow.