Astros slug 3 homers vs. Padres for 9th win in 10 games
By Corey Brock and Brian McTaggart
SAN DIEGO -- Evan Gattis, Chris Carter and George Springer each homered and Jose Altuve had four hits on Tuesday night as the Astros picked up their ninth win in their last 10 games, a 14-3 triumph over the Padres before a crowd of 22,796 at Petco Park.
Gattis had a two-run home run in the first inning, Carter added a solo shot in the sixth and Springer drilled a two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Astros (13-7) a five-run lead. Springer knocked in five runs and stole a base.
"I heard a lot of guys saying that we're really, really good and it's going to be hard to beat us," Altuve said. "That's what we're trying to do -- play hard and make the other team really work to win a game against the Astros."
San Diego starting pitcher Tyson Ross (1-2) struck out nine in five innings but allowed four runs. He didn't receive a lot of run support, though Wil Myers and Justin Upton hit home runs for the Padres (11-11).
"It was a tough night for a lot of our pitchers," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Houston pitcher Roberto Hernandez (1-2) allowed three runs in six innings with six strikeouts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Petco can't hold Astros: For the second game in a row, the Astros blasted a season-high-tying three homers at Petco Park, a renowned pitcher's haven, en route to season highs in runs (14) and hits (17). The Astros are 4-0 this season when hitting three home runs.
"We never stopped," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We put up really, really good at-bats as the game went on, and you know those nights are hard to come by. It's contagious, guys going up there and getting good pitches to hit and doing damage." More >
How the ball bounces: Myers nearly made a nice grab at the wall in deep center on the first-inning drive by Gattis. One problem, though: The ball glanced off Myers' glove and hit the top of the padded wall before bouncing over for a two-run home run.
"When I jumped up, it hit the side of my glove," Myers said. "I thought I had it." More >
Myers gets one back: Myers, not looking the part of a prototypical leadoff hitter, hit his fourth home run of the season in the fifth inning, a solo shot into the visiting bullpen beyond the center-field fence. The drive was measured at 445 feet. Myers leads the Padres with 15 RBIs.
Hernandez finally rewarded: The Astros finally won a game started by Hernandez. The right-hander has posted three straight quality starts, but this was his first win in a Houston uniform.
"He's been a pleasant surprise for us, the way he can add and subtract off that sinker and get through innings," Hinch said. "He deserved a win. He's pitched very well this season and didn't have much to show for it, so we're happy to help him."
"They jumped on our pitching. We didn't pitch well from the get-go. They got two runs in the first and kept going." -- Black, after the Astros scored in seven innings
"It's a lot of fun. Going on the road and playing in other people's ballparks and it's rowdy, and for us to swing the bats the way we've been swinging it, it's a lot of fun. Energy level is through the roof, and winning produces that." -- Astros reliever Will Harris
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Upton's home run in the sixth inning was his sixth. That's the most home runs in the first month of the season for a Padres hitter since Adrian Gonzalez also hit six in 2010. Gonzalez's nine homers in the first month of the '09 season is the franchise record.
Houston didn't get its 13th win until its 40th game last season (13-27). The 2015 Astros are off to a 13-7 start.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Black used his manager's challenge in the fifth inning when Luis Valbuena was awarded first base after being hit on the hand by a pitch from Ross. Based on television replay, it didn't appear as if the ball hit Valbuena. No matter. After a review, the call was confirmed.
"Yeah, it hit me," Valbuena said. "Just a little bit, but that's part of the game. What do you want me to do? You know what I mean?"
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: The series concludes at 12:40 p.m. PT on Wednesday as Andrew Cashner gets the start. Cashner (1-3, 2.63 ERA) has been good of late, allowing a total of two earned runs over his last three starts, a span of 19 innings. He has 20 strikeouts over that stretch.
Astros: Ace Dallas Keuchel looks to keep his strong start going when he takes the ball in the final game of Houston's road trip. Keuchel (2-0, 0.62) has allowed runs in only one of his 29 innings this season and is coming off a game in which he took a no-decision despite throwing nine scoreless innings. He's 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA in his last 11 outings, all quality starts.