Astros abuse Rangers 13-2
First-timers Fisher, Martes lead the way

Fisher celebrates first Show homer
(c) Associated Press

The Astros offense woke up Wednesday night in a 13-2 shellacking of the Rangers at Minute Maid Park. After scoring a total of only three runs while dropping the first two games of the series to their in-state rivals, the Astros came up with a 9-run sixth inning to bust open the finale.

First-time starter Francis Martes was strong early for the Astros and carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning. That's when Houston's number one prospect ran into a some control problems. A pair of walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch helped the Rangers cut the lead in half. But Martes rallied to retire the final two batters of the inning to strand the bases loaded. Martes left the field with a series of fist pumps after striking out Jared Hoying, turning the game over to the bullpen in position to claim his first big league win.

Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa sparked a fifth inning rally that plated a pair of runs to increase the lead to 4-1. But the real fun would come in the sixth. Derek Fisher, called up earlier in the day and making his big league debut in leftfield, led off the frame with a home run into the Crawford Boxes. Jake Marisnick made it back-to-back homers off reliever Jeremy Jeffress when he popped one into the front row of the Crawfords to make it 6-1. Two relievers later, Fisher got his second hit of the inning and, by the time it was over, the Astros had sent 13 men to the plate and hung a 9-spot on the scoreboard.

Joey Gallo hit a massive home run off James Hoyt to start the seventh but, after that, it was smooth sailing for the Astros the rest of the way. Houston banged out 19 hits including three apiece by Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez.

Four Houston pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Rangers batters. Martes was responsible for seven of those and picked up his first win in the blowout.

The Astros get a much needed day off on Thursday before the Boston Red Sox arrive in town on Friday. Mike Fiers gets the start in the first game of a 3-game series. Drew Pomeranz goes for the Sox in a 7:10 CDT tilt.

- Greg Thurston