If there was any figurative hangover for the Houston Astros from being the victims of Matt Cain's perfect game on the night before, it was dispatched in the span of one batter. Jose Altuve was the Astros' first baserunner since Tuesday when he led off Thursday's game with a single that paved the way for a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants.
While Altuve's base-hit didn't directly produce a run, it broke whatever tension was leftover from Cain's gem. The Astros' clubhouse was silent after the game on Wednesday night, but was its usual loose self before the game and the dugout got even looser later on.
"Altuve set the stage early when he got that leadoff hit," said Matt Downs, who actually got the scoring started with a solo home run in the second. "That kind of set the tone early and got everybody pumped up a little bit. We got that behind us."
So it turned into business as usual. Wandy Rodriguez went six innings, allowing three runs. And J.D. Martinez piled on after Downs' shot with a grand slam, the first of his career.
It got the Astros a much-needed victory after getting outscored 16-3 by the Giants in the first two games of the series. And it put securely in the rearview mirror the awful memory of the perfect game.
"It's always nice to at least win a game in a series," manager Brad Mills said. "After last night, that was over with. We had to turn the page."