|Houston (2-6) «||6||3||2||2||0||1||0||1||1||16||22||1|
SEATTLE -- The breakout Houston manager Bo Porter kept saying was coming finally showed up.
And it wasn't just a little offensive outburst by the Astros.
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After totaling nine runs during a six-game losing streak, the Astros scored nine in only two innings and won for the first time since opening night. The smallest crowd in Safeco Field history saw the Astros batter Seattle rookie starter Brandon Maurer (0-2) and continued their offensive onslaught against reliever Kameron Loe. By the time Loe was replaced after the third inning, the Astros led 11-0 and had 13 hits.
"It was only a matter of time," Porter said. "We've had confidence the whole time they could hit. It was unfortunate the games prior to tonight that we had not hit, but it was good to see."
Chris Carter hit two home runs -- his first multihomer game. J.D. Martinez and Marwin Gonzalez also connected for Houston. The Astros entered the night with only two home runs and 17 total runs all season.
The 16 runs and 22 hits were the most since August 2010 when the Astros won at St. Louis 18-4. Houston scored six off Maurer in the first as the rookie lasted only two outs. The six-run first was the biggest inning for Houston since Sept. 10, 2011, against Washington.
"We showed today what the team really has," Altuve said. "I guess the guys wake up today. I look at it that way."
All of Houston's starters had at least one hit except first baseman Brett Wallace who continued to struggle through a miserable start to the year, striking out four times and dropping his average to .048. Altuve and Carter had four hits, and Gonzalez was on base four times. Carter and Martinez both homered in the second and Gonzalez went deep in the third -- all their first homers of the season. Altuve joined the trio with a two-run shot with two outs in the fourth off Seattle's Charlie Furbush. Carter capped the night with a home run in the top of the ninth.
"They did a good job of managing their at-bats and keeping the line moving. Even earlier in the game before we got the home runs, it was singles, doubles, line drives," Porter said. "It was what we talk about all the time."
Paul Clemens (1-0) got the victory for Houston because starter Erik Bedard didn't make it past the fourth. Bedard gave up just one hit, but was pulled after throwing only 66 pitches. Bedard started the season in the Astros' bullpen after throwing only six innings during spring training. The lengthy breaks spent in the dugout, his limited time during spring and a pitch count all led to the decision to end his night early.
Bedard was on a 65-pitch limit and missed qualifying for the victory against his former team in a game the Astros led 13-0 at the time he was replaced.
"I'd rather be healthy the whole year than just one outing. So I threw 65 and that's what it was," Bedard said.
Clemens made his major league debut after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday. He worked four innings and gave up five runs and six hits. Jason Bay connected with two outs in the seventh off Clemens, and Raul Ibanez and Michael Morse went back-to-back in the eighth. It was Morse's sixth home run of the season.
The Mariners will be left with decisions to make with Maurer and Loe. Maurer didn't pitch above Double-A Jackson last year, but was so impressive in spring Seattle put him in the rotation. In his two starts, Maurer has allowed 12 earned runs and has a 16.20 ERA. Houston made him pay with three consecutive singles to start the game, followed by Carlos Pena's two-run double, RBI singles by Martinez and Matt Dominguez, and Altuve's two-run double -- his second hit of the inning -- that finally brought an end to Maurer's short night.
Loe has given up six home runs already in four relief appearances.
"These are the days you just forget. I mean you take whatever good you can out of it," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "Some good things happened for us at the end of the game, but from a pitching perspective we just had a very off day. Everybody was scuffling."
|Carlos Pena opens the scoring with a two-run double in the first inning, during which Houston scores six runs on seven hits. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jose Altuve, 2B||6||2||4||4||0||0||2||.353|
|Justin Maxwell, CF||5||2||1||0||1||0||4||.333|
|Jason Castro, C||4||1||2||0||1||1||0||.222|
|a- Carlos Corporan, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.125|
|Chris Carter, LF-1B||6||2||4||3||0||2||3||.219|
|Carlos Pena, DH||4||2||2||2||1||1||2||.185|
|b- Ronny Cedeno, PH-DH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.267|
|J.D. Martinez, RF-LF||6||2||2||3||0||2||6||.263|
|Brett Wallace, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||4||5||.048|
|Brandon Barnes, RF||1||1||1||0||1||0||0||.429|
|Matt Dominguez, 3B||6||1||2||1||0||0||4||.259|
|Marwin Gonzalez, SS||3||3||3||2||2||0||0||.400|
|a-flied out for Castro in the 8th|
|b-singled for Pena in the 9th|
|2B - Jose Altuve (2, Maurer), Carlos Pena (1, Maurer), Brandon Barnes (1, Luetge)|
|HR - Jose Altuve (1, Furbush), Chris Carter 2 (2, Loe, Perez), J.D. Martinez (1, Loe), Marwin Gonzalez (1, Loe)|
|RBI - Jose Altuve 4 (6), Chris Carter 3 (3), Carlos Pena 2 (2), J.D. Martinez 3 (3), Matt Dominguez (3), Marwin Gonzalez 2 (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Altuve 4 (4), Matt Dominguez (3)|
|SB - J.D. Martinez (1, 2nd base off Maurer/Montero)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Jose Altuve (1, Throwing)|
|Paul Clemens (W,1-0)||4||6||5||5||1||0||3||11.25|
|Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 66-39, Paul Clemens 62-37, Hector Ambriz 35-21|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 4-5, Paul Clemens 4-8, Hector Ambriz 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 15, Paul Clemens 19, Hector Ambriz 8|
|Franklin Gutierrez, CF||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|a- Jason Bay, PH-RF||2||2||2||1||1||0||0||.300|
|Michael Saunders, RF-CF||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.286|
|Kendrys Morales, DH||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.310|
|b- Raul Ibanez, PH-DH||2||2||2||2||1||0||0||.231|
|Michael Morse, LF||5||2||1||1||0||0||4||.263|
|Justin Smoak, 1B||4||0||1||2||1||1||0||.179|
|Jesus Montero, C||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.133|
|Dustin Ackley, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.111|
|Robert Andino, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.143|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.273|
|a-singled for Gutierrez in the 5th|
|b-walked for Morales in the 5th|
|2B - Robert Andino (2, Clemens)|
|HR - Jason Bay (1, Clemens), Raul Ibanez (1, Clemens), Michael Morse (6, Clemens)|
|SF - Michael Saunders (2), Brendan Ryan (1)|
|RBI - Jason Bay (1), Michael Saunders (5), Raul Ibanez 2 (2), Michael Morse (9), Justin Smoak 2 (3), Brendan Ryan (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Bay (1), Raul Ibanez (1), Justin Smoak 2 (3)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Ryan-Ackley-Smoak, Ryan-Ackley-Smoak|
|Brandon Maurer (L,0-2)||0.2||7||6||6||1||2||0||16.20|
|WP - Lucas Luetge (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Maurer 36-21, Kameron Loe 41-28, Charlie Furbush 48-27, Lucas Luetge 46-28, Oliver Perez 25-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kameron Loe 2-3, Charlie Furbush 3-1, Lucas Luetge 2-3, Oliver Perez 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Maurer 10, Kameron Loe 14, Charlie Furbush 11, Lucas Luetge 13, Oliver Perez 5|
|Attendance - 10745|
|Game Time - 3:36|
|Temperature - 55|
|Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Tony Randazzo|