If you had only watched the first two innings of Saturday's game, you probably would have thought the Astros' winning streak was coming to an end. Houston had fallen behind early 3-0 with three home runs off Collin McHugh and they were facing Taijuan Walker.
Collin McHugh has been one of the Astros' best pitchers dating back to last season; McHugh is 10-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last 14 starts. But the Mariners appeared to figured him out as Nelson Cruz, Logan Morrison, and Mike Zunino each hit a solo home run in the second inning.
On the other side, Taijuan Walker has own the Astros in his young career. Walker is a career 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts against Houston.
But these aren't your two year old baby's Astros, they responded quickly and often. The Astros got back into striking distance in the second with two runs of their own. Colby Rasmus doubled to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Marwin Gonzalez grounded into a fielder's choice for the first run, and Jake Marisnick followed with a single to continue his blistering hitting pace.
The Astros would take the lead in the third with back-to-back home runs from Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus.
With the score now 5-3, Astros added another pair of back-to-back home runs. This time the 2014 batting champion got into the act. Jose Altuve hit an absolute bomb just to the left of the Conoco Home Run Porch. Hank Conger and Jonathan Villar who lead off the inning with a pair singles and trotted home with Altuve. Luis Valbuena made the score 9-3 with his six home run of the season.
Houston was in complete control in the top of the sixth, Nelson Cruz decided to flex on a pitch. Cruz hit a 1-1 curveball out of the stadium to bring the score to 9-4 Astros. It looked like Logan Morrison had his second of home run of game in the sixth as well. Morrison hit the ball to dead center about 430 feet. Center fielder Jake Marisnick made arguably one of the greatest plays in Minute Maid Park history, running and diving up Tal's hill to make the catch to end the sixth. Words do not do it justice...video is required.
The Astros again answered the Mariners' run in the bottom of the inning, Colby Rasmus and Marwin Gonzalez hits back-to-back doubles to push the Astros' run total to 10. Catcher Hank Conger put the icing on the cake with a home run of his own in the seventh to put the game away.
The Astros have won 9 straight games. The Astros had 8 extra-bat hits in the game, seven solid innings from starter Collin McHugh, and two quiet innings from Joe Thatcher and Will Harris. Another Astros win just like Jeff Luhnow drew it up.
The Astros look for their third-straight series sweep on Sunday, Roberto Hernandez vs. J.A. Happ at 1:05 PM CT.