He got his chance on Wednesday, and he doubled twice in his major league debut to help the Astros to a 10-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.
“I remember going to the Astrodome and watching games, but this park is something else,” said Grossman, who grew up in suburban Houston. “I wanted to be a professional ballplayer and play at the highest level and being an Astro is just the icing on the cake.”
Chris Carter Ronny Cedeno and Brandon Laird homered, and Lucas Harrell pitched seven innings as Houston took the rubber game of the series. Four of the Astros’ seven wins this season have come against the Mariners, their new AL West foe.
Seattle and Miami are the only teams without a series win this season.
Carter hit a solo shot in the second, Cedeno belted a three-run shot in the fourth and Laird also connected for a three-run drive in Houston’s five-run sixth. The Astros have homered in eight straight games, matching their longest such streak since June 2009.
Harrell (2-2) allowed a run and six hits in his longest outing of the season.
“That felt like a complete game,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “We pitched well, we hit well, we made all the plays.”
Laird had a career-high three hits and four RBIs, and Grossman became the first player since Carlos Gonzalez in 2008 to hit two doubles in his first major league game. He joins James Mouton (1994) as the only players to accomplish the feat with Houston.
The Astros considered waiting for Grossman to join them in Boston on Thursday, but thought it would be special for him to play his first game at Minute Maid Park.
“We’re pretty excited for him,” Porter said. “He adds a dynamic to our club, some more speed at the top of the lineup and a guy that gets on base.”
The Mariners closed out a 1-5 road trip. They were outscored 36-8 in the five losses.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge held a team meeting following the latest setback, but wouldn’t divulge what was discussed.
“It’s been a bad road trip, and we are not off to the start we’d like, for sure,” Wedge said. “But we have the players in there to be a good team, and that is what bothers me more than anything. We just have to peck away and get this thing turned around.”
Joe Saunders (1-3) had a second straight rough outing, with the Astros getting to him for 11 hits and eight runs in five-plus innings. He has given up 20 hits and 15 runs in his last two starts.
“Just a bad day. That is all I care to say,” Saunders said. “We’ll just turn the page on it, go get them next time and forget about this one.”
Carter opened the second inning with a drive to left field to make it 1-0. He is tied for the team lead with five homers, but Wednesday was his first at Minute Maid Park.
“I was just like: `Finally, I hit a ball here,’ because I’ve done everything on the road,” he said. “It feels good to hit one here in front of the fans.”
Grossman collected his first major league hit on a ground-rule double with one out in the third. Grossman was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday night after Justin Maxwell went on the disabled list with a broken hand.
Carter drew a walk with one out in the fourth before a single by Carlos Corporan Cedeno then hit a drive to left for his first homer of the season, pushing the lead to 4-0.
Grossman led off the fifth with another double and scored on Laird’s one-out double.
Michael Morse singled before second baseman Jose Altuve ended the inning with a slick defensive play. He made a diving stop on a grounder hit by Justin Smoak and flipped over to make the throw to first from a near sitting position.
Smoak hit a solo homer in the ninth inning.
NOTES: Seager has a career-high 13-game hitting streak. … The Mariners return home on Thursday to open a four-game series against the Angels. Seattle’s Brandon Maurer will oppose Garrett Richards … Houston travels to Boston where Philip Humber will face Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz … Wedge said before the game that Andino would replace Brendan Ryan as the starting shortstop for now. Ryan is a solid defender, but has struggled on offense with a .143 average and is just 1 for his last 25. … Seattle OF Michael Saunders who is on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder, could go out for a rehabilitation assignment as soon as Friday.