The Houston Astros broke out of their offensive slump by nearly matching their entire scoring production of the season in one game.
Building on that performance could mean winning their first series as a member of the AL.
Houston (2-6) finished with a .236 average last season, ranking last in the NL. Switching leagues for 2013 didn’t seem to make a difference since the Astros were at the bottom of the league with a .201 average, two homers and 17 runs before breaking out in a big way Tuesday. They increased their season average 45 points by pounding out 22 hits with five homers while scoring the first 13 runs of a 16-9 win over the Mariners (4-5).
That snapped a six-game slide, during which they were outscored 37-9.
“It was only a matter of time,” first-year manager Bo Porter said. “We’ve had confidence the whole time they could hit. It was unfortunate the games prior to (Tuesday) that we had not hit, but it was good to see.”
Altuve had four hits with a double, a homer and four RBIs, spiking his season average 67 points to .353. He was 0 for 4 in a 3-0 loss to open this series a day earlier.
While Altuve got four hits for the third time in his career, Carter’s four along with his two homers were personal bests. He was 3 for 26 with 13 strikeouts over the first seven games.
The Astros’ bats now look to stay hot as they face Seattle right-hander Blake Beavan for the first time.
Beavan struggled in his season debut Friday, getting tagged for five runs and six hits - two homers - in five innings while not getting a decision in an 8-7 road win over the Chicago White Sox.
Getting his first home start may be just what Beavan needs to bounce back. He has a 1.73 ERA while winning three of his last four starts at Safeco Field, and has tossed 15 scoreless innings to win the last two.
Houston is expected to counter Beavan with Brad Peacock who allowed two runs and three hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 4 1-3 innings of Friday’s 8-3 loss to Oakland. It was the right-hander’s first appearance in the majors since a winning start for Washington at Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2011.
“It was the first time I’d been out there in a while,” said Peacock, who spent all of last year in Oakland’s minor-league system. “I wasn’t nervous, but I was over-amped, trying to throw a little too hard, maybe.”
He may have to contend with veterans Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay who each had two hits with their respective first homer of the season Tuesday. Ibanez’s 67 career homers at Safeco are the most for any player.