Photo courtesy of AP / Ted S. Warren
If we were to ask you which team has scored the most runs in a single game so far this season, what teams would come to mind?
Likely answers might be more commonly known offensive juggernauts like the Washington Nationals, L.A. Angels or Cincinnati Reds. Likely answers would off – way off.
The Houston Astros plated 16 runs en route to routing Seattle last night, the most of any team this season.
Six of those runs came in the first inning, and were enough to chase Mariner rookie Brandon Maurer after just two-thirds complete. By the end of the third frame, Houston had already built itself a 10-run cushion. And they weren’t done hitting.
In total, the Astros pounded out 22 hits, which also set the high water mark for a single game this season.
To say that kind of Astros offensive explosion was unexpected would be an understatement of almost criminal proportions.
Entering Tuesday, offensive futility had been a hallmark of this 2013 Houston squad. They had already been shut out three times through seven games, were one out away from becoming the victims of a Yu Darvish perfect game, and were averaging little more than two runs per game. The Astros went through a six-game losing streak last week where they scored just nine total runs.
So how did they manage to break out on Tuesday? First-year Manager Bo Porter said it was just a matter of time and credited his team for sticking to its “keep the line moving” approach and not letting the frustration of past failures hold them back.
The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in the six-run first inning. Carlos Pena got the scoring started with a two-run double. A pair of RBI singles and a Jose Altuve two-run double made it 6-0.
Then came a home run parade.
Chris Carter homered in the second, and J.D. Martinez followed with a two-run shot in the same frame.
Marwin Gonzalez belted a solo home run in the third to push the lead to 10-0.
A fourth-inning two-run blast from Altuve made it 13-0.
The fifth and final long ball was hit by Carter in the ninth, his second of the game.
Altuve finished 4-for-6 with a career-best four RBIs. Carter’s two home runs gave him his first career multi-hit game.
The 22 hits are the sixth most in franchise history. The 16 runs are the most scored by the Astros since August 3, 2010 when the team scored 18 against St. Louis.