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Astros use longball to sink Mariners, 10-2

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Six Astros homer, another quality start by Miley

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros had six different hitters launch home runs Friday night in a 10-2 victory over the wayward Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park.

Most impressive might be that five of the six longballs came from the No. 5-9 hitters in the Astros’ lineup, on a night when Yuli Gurriel didn’t play.

Yordan Alvarez began the barrage with a leadoff homer deep to dead center to put the Astros on top, 1-0, in the second inning. The home run was the 13th of the year for Alvarez, who has as many RBI (39) as games played (39).

The Astros have now scored first in six straight games and are 5-1 in that stretch.

Later in the inning, Jake Marisnick clocked a two-out, two-run homer over the train tracks in left to push the Astros’ lead to 3-0.

In the fourth, Martin Maldonado clubbed an opposite-field home run for the third Astros’ longball of night against M’s starter Yusei Kikuchi. The home run was Maldonado’s first round-trippper in his second stint with the Astros and his seventh of the season.

Springer tripled with two outs in the inning for his third hit of game, and it was full of hustle.

Jose Altuve rewarded Springer by ripping the Astros’ fourth homer of the night—and his 17th of the year—to make it 6-0.

Kikuchi allowed a season-high four home runs and is now tied for the most homers surrendered in MLB with 28.

Wade Miley started strong for the Astros, holding the Mariners hitless for 4 13 innings. Seattle’s first base-hit came on a dinker by catcher Tom Murphy that beat the shift, though no damage was done on the scoreboard.

Reggie McClain, making his Major-League debut, came on for Kikuchi to start the fifth. After McClain issued a one-out walk to Alvarez—who reached base in his first three at-bats—Carlos Correa sliced an opposite-field, two run homer to right to make it 8-0.

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Aledmys Diaz made it back-to-back jacks by crushing one over the Crawford Boxes to make it 9-0. The Astros set a new season-high with six homers in the contest.

Dan Vogelbach punched a two-run homer to the Crawford Boxes in the sixth inning that trimmed the Mariners’ deficit to 9-2.

Wade Miley (10-4, 3.05), who entered Friday night with the lowest OPS allowed in MLB since July 1 (.541), tossed six innings of one-run, three-hit ball. He struck out six but also allowed a season-worst five walks.

Kikuchi (4-8, 5.49) lasted just four innings. He allowed six runs on nine hits and struck out one batter.

Collin McHugh allowed two walks and threw a wild pitch, but he also struck out two batters in a scoreless seventh inning. He tossed another scoreless frame in the eighth.

Joe Smith put a bow on things with a perfect ninth. Smith has yet to allow a run in his 5 23 innings of work this season since returning from an Achilles injury.

With the win, the Astros improved to 71-40, which matches the 2017 club for the best start in franchise history. The 2017 Astros lost their next five games, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox in U.S. Cellular Field.

Zac Grotz, the second of two Mariners to make his Major-League debut Friday, pitched two innings and allowed a run on an Altuve RBI groundout. Cory Gearrin threw a scoreless seventh for Seattle.

Springer had a four-hit night, including three singles.

Box score and videos here.

The Astros will continue their three-game set with the Mariners Saturday evening when newcomer Aaron Sanchez (3-14, 6.07) makes his first start for Houston. He will be opposed by Marco Gonzales (12-8, 4.21), who has pitched particularly well for Seattle since July. In his final start with the Toronto Blue Jays, Sanchez threw 5 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay and allowed four runs to go with 10 strikeouts. After starting the season 3-1, Sanchez has lost 13 straight decisions. His last win came April 27 against Oakland. Gonzales was in the Top 5 of OPS allowed during the month of July (.607), behind three Astros (Miley, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole). Gonzales has won consecutive starts, going seven innings in each and allowing just one run with eight strikeouts against Detroit in his most recent outing. First pitch Saturday is slated for 6:10 CT.