The Juice: Seattle’s Safeco Field yields eight home runs as Houston Astros break slump

David Brown
Big League Stew

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After managing just nine runs total during their six-game losing streak, the Houston Astros offense came alive like Frampton in a 16-9 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. Safeco Field yielded eight home runs in its second game since a reconfiguration shortened the fences by as much as 17 feet in some places. The day before, neither team homered in Seattle's home opener. Go figure.

Chris Carter went deep twice and even l'il Jose Altuve homered for the 'Stros, who had five homers and were due for an outburst, manager Bo Porter has been saying:

''It was only a matter of time,'' Porter said. ''We've had confidence the whole time they could hit. It was unfortunate the games prior to tonight that we had not hit, but it was good to see.''

Erik Bedard, fresh off his 3 1/3 inning save on opening day, pitched one-hit ball over four innings before reaching his limit. The smallest crowd in park history of 10,745 watched rookie Brandon Maurer get pounded for the second time in two starts. He's allowed 12 earned runs so far. The ERA of reliever Kameron Loe also took a hit.

It's a state of mind: You know who else can hit five home runs? The New York Bronx Empire Yankees, that's who. They soiled Cleveland Indians pitching for the second straight game, beating the Tribe 14-1. Robinson Cano alone has done serious damage, going 7 for 10 with three homers, three doubles and seven RBIs. He came into the series batting .130, which nobody is going to remember. The Yanks have outscored opponents 32-7 over the past three games. Andy Pettitte (speaking of being old and forgetful — I kid!) allowed a run, five hits and three walks over seven innings.

Can anyone else hit five home runs? No, but the Washington Nationals delivered four in an 8-7 victory against the Chicago White Sox. Adam LaRoche hit a pair.


Phillies 8, Mets 3: Lee >>> Gee. Whee!

Braves 3, Marlins 2: Miami might have gotten away with a victory, too, if it weren't for that Medlen kid.

Cubs 6, Brewers 3: Milwaukee had a 3-0 lead, but Chicago rallied and scored three times in the bottom of the eighth against John Axford to take the lead. His ERA is 24.40.

Cardinals 5, Reds 1: At some point, people were talking about Bronson Arroyo having a perfect game which, obviously, didn't last.

Pirates 6, D-backs 5: Pittsburgh has won two in a row, and the Associated Press writer called it a streak. I think it has to be three games before you can do that.

Athletics 9, Angels 5: No offense, but this was a horribly played game. Bad defense, bad baserunning, inept offense. I'd ask for my money back from Arte Moreno. The Angels should have scored about 10 runs against Jarrod Parker, who had nothing. The only amusing moment was a pinch-hit, go-ahead home run by John Jaso, who's got a mini-Josh Reddick thing going on with the hair.

Tigers 7, Blue Jays 3: Miguel Cabrera goes deep for a three-run ding-dong.

Rangers 6, Rays 1: Tepesch sounds like an adverb, but it's really a person — Nick Tepesch, who pitched well in his big-league debut.

Royals 7, Twins 4: The Royals had a 12-game losing streak a year ago during April, but have won five of six this time. Greg Holland got the save but was a little shaky in the ninth. But it was raining hard. Don't give me any excuses! OK, sorry, jeez.

Giants 9, Rockies 6: But Tim Lincecum was shaky again.

Padres 9, Dodgers 3: Finally, the Padres open newly reconfigured Safeco Field. They hit two homers and Juan Uribe added one for L.A.

''It was starting to get hard to find a pair of clean underwear.''

— Padres slugger Mark Kotsay, whose team was coming off an extended spring training, two exhibition games at San Antonio and six road games to start the season.

Actors from "42" — the upcoming biopic about Jackie Robinson — mug for cameras at the Hollywood premiere on Tuesday. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson, who broke the modern-day color barrier in the majors. The movie opens nationwide Friday.

• Torii Hunter collected career hit No. 2000, the 272nd person in major league history to do so.

• The Blue Jays are 2-5, which is their worst start since 2004.

• The Marlins have scored 16 runs in eight games — seven in their only victory.

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