Oberholtzer strong; bats launch into orbit
Finally, the Houston Astros were able to get themselves back into the win column with Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners in town after suffering a seven-game losing streak.
The man dubbed King Felix, was dethroned almost immediately, surrendering a whopping eight runs in the very first inning of the game including a couple long balls. This offense was almost nonexistent over the last seven games but launched into orbit with a total of four home runs over the first five innings of the game.
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Houston got things going on an RBI double by outfielder George Springer, driving in Jose Altuve and advancing Preston Tucker to third base. Altuve would later leave after running out a bang-bang play at first base in his next at-bat.
It was reported that Altuve tweaked his hamstring, according to ESPN.com.
Seattle followed up Springer’s two-base knock on a throwing error by Hernandez, allowing the Astros to grab the 3-0 lead after both Tucker and Springer crossed home plate on the play. Struggling corner man Luis Valbuena stepped up into the batter’s box and connected for a three-run shot, his 13th home run of the season which stretched out the lead to 6-0.
First baseman Chris Carter kept things moving along with only one out, sending a single out to left field. Carter wouldn’t be stranded long, jogging around the bases with Jason Castro, who drill his seventh home run of the season to chase King Felix from the game.
Now that starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer had himself a commanding lead, it was time for him to help lead his team to victory. Oberholtzer (1-1, 2.25 ERA) worked eight scoreless innings, holding the Seattle Mariners to just three hits while issuing two walks and recording five whiffs.
Rookie phenom Carlos Correa – who struck out in his first plate appearance at Minute Made Park – picked up his second home run of the season and first at home with Joe Beimel on the mound. Correa’s solo blast landed in the bullpen behind the right-field wall, making it 9-0.
Carter plated the final run of the contest on his 11th moon shot of the season – a ball that found itself landing near the train. It was estimated to travel about 430 ft. which closed things out at 10-0.
The final numbers for Hernandez were eight earned runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout, bumping his ERA up to 3.38 on the year.