Brandon Barnes became the eighth Astros player to ever hit for the cycle as he went 5-for-5 on Friday. And Brett Wallace crushed a two-run home run in the upper deck of right field. Unfortunately for the Astros it wasn’t enough as Seattle hit four home runs in beating the Astros 10-7 at Minute Maid Park. Brad Miller hit his first two major league home runs for Seattle, which extended its streak of hitting a home run to a franchise-record 23 games.
Bud Norris (6-9) is usually pretty effective pitching at home. He has the third-lowest ERA all-time at Minute Maid Park. Friday was not one of his better outings. In making his club-leading 20th start, the right-hander was chased from the game following Miller’s first home run in the sixth, a two-run shot to right field that gave the Mariners a 6-2 lead.
Norris, who also allowed a fourth-inning two-run homer to Kyle Seager, needed 121 pitches (68 strikes) to go 5 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits and six runs with five walks and two strikeouts.
Like Norris, Joe Saunders (9-8) managed to go only 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander left after walking Matt Dominguez to load the bases and the Mariners leading 6-2. Saunders allowed nine hits and three runs with six strikeouts and three walks. He gave up three hits to Barnes.
Seattle failed to score in the seventh inning as Wesley Wright struck out Michael Saunders swinging for the third out, leaving runners at second and third. Wright was scoreless in 1 1/3 innings in relief of Norris, giving up one hit with one walk and two strikeouts.
Josh Fields wasn’t as effective, allowing three runs and two hits with two walks and a strikeout in one inning. Hector Ambriz was recalled from Oklahoma City on Friday. On his first pitch, Justin Smoak took him deep to right field in the ninth inning.
Tom Wilhelmsen got his 20th save.
AT THE PLATE
In his five at-bats respectively, Barnes homered, tripled, singled, doubled and had an infield single in the ninth. By the fourth inning Barnes had seven total bases. In the second inning Barnes hit his fifth home run of the season to open the scoring, a blast to left-center that was well over 400 feet. His fourth-inning triple to right-center scored Justin Maxwell from second base to cut the Mariners’ lead to 4-2.Barnes singled in the sixth and doubled in the eighth.
Wallace’s fifth home run of the season in Houston’s three-run eighth inning cut the Mariner’s lead to 9-6. Jason Castro, Jake Elmore, Jose Altuve and Maxwell had two hits each for Houston.
Miller had five RBIs to go with his two home runs. Seager’s 16th home run gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning off Norris. Dustin Ackley’s two-run double in the fourth gave the Mariners a 4-1 lead and Miller’s two-run homer in the sixth increased Seattle’s lead to 6-2. Miller’s three-run homer in the eighth inning made it 9-3.
IN THE FIELD
Castro continues to show why he’s an All-Star catcher. In addition to his first-inning double, Castro made a nice catch for the second out of the first inning. Castro made a running catch of a pop up hit by Raul Ibanez a few feet from the Mariners dugout between home and third base.
Elmore also had a nice defensive gem. With a drawn-in infield, the shortstop snagged a one-hopper and threw out Smoak at first base for the second out of the seventh inning, while holding the runners at second and third.
ON THE BASES
The Astros had a run called back in the fifth inning when Altuve was hit by a ball on his way to second base. Castro was credited with a single, Altuve was ruled out for the second out and Elmore, who had scored, had to return to third base. Elmore was stranded at third when Chris Carter struck out swinging for the third out and the Mariners ahead 4-2.
Game 2 of the three-game series at Minute Maid Park continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. For Houston, LHP Erik Bedard (3-6, 4.61 ERA) gets the start vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 3.02 ERA). In Sunday’s series finale at 1:10 p.m. RHP Jordan Lyles (4-3, 4.02 ERA) starts for Houston vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (10-4, 2.53 ERA).
In his last outing, a loss at Tampa Bay on July 14, Bedard threw a season-high 109 pitches.