Big triple emblematic of Marwin's hot June

First baseman plates go-ahead run on first three-bagger of 2016

Big triple emblematic of Marwin's hot June

HOUSTON -- Marwin Gonzalez just wants to be there when his team needs him.

And sure enough, in the eighth inning of a tie game, the Astros needed him Wednesday. The first baseman came up in a big way: hitting a deep triple to Tal's Hill to send in George Springer as the go-ahead run.

"I was just hoping for the ball to fall," Gonzalez said, "and, well, we got it."

It was Gonzalez's only hit of the game, but it helped propel the Astros to a 3-2 win over the Angels and an above-.500 record for the first time since April 5. He also scored what turned out to be the decisive run on a fielder's choice off the bat of Carlos Correa.

It's also more of the same for Gonzalez, who's had an impressive June. He's batting .324 with five RBIs and four doubles this month, and his triple Wednesday was his first of the year. 

"It doesn't surprise me, because I know the kind of player he is," second baseman Jose Altuve said. "It gets me mad a little bit when he's not in the lineup. I try to get him in the lineup because I know what he's capable [of]."

Gonzalez scores on grounder

Recently, Gonzalez has been asked to play almost every day, and manager A.J. Hinch said he's handling the added responsibility well.

"He's playing really well," Hinch said. "I think the everyday at-bats have helped. He's taking care of his body. I don't know if he's played this much in a two-week span in his entire career. He's played good defense. He's put up good at-bats. … He's factoring in most nights."

Gonzalez said playing every day helps him stay in a flow.

"If you have a bad game, you're playing the next day," Gonzalez said. "You can come back and make adjustments."

Gonzalez has also been asked to move to second in the lineup. It's a spot where he's thrived: in the 12 games Gonzalez has batted second this season, he's batting .372 with a .449 on-base percentage.

"I think hitting in front of Altuve has been fun for him," Hinch said.

For Gonzalez, it's all about helping the team.

"I just want to be there and help my team whenever I can," Gonzalez said. "I can't control how much I play or where."

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.