Astros bats wake up versus Rays
Marisnick, Fisher lead 17-hit attack

Jake & Derek flex muscles in blowout
(c) Associated Press

The Astros offense got back on track Monday night, scoring ten runs in the first four innings of a 14-7 blowout win over the Rays. Jose Altuve and company chased Alex Cobb from the game after just three innings, pounding nine hits and scoring eight runs off the Rays' starter.

Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher launched back-to-back homers against Cobb in the third, capping a 5-run inning that increased Houston's lead to 8-2. Marisnick would deliver another longball leading off the fifth against Chase Whitley to make it 11-2.

Every Astros starter had at least one hit. A.J. Reed, who was called up from AAA earlier in the day, was the only Astro to go hitless, going 0-for-2 after coming off the bench to give Altuve a little break. Houston collected 17 hits and five walks in the game to go with only two strikeouts.

Charlie Morton turned in an excellent start for the Astros, allowing only two hits and two runs in six strong innings of work. Morton did walk three batters and gave up a home run to Corey Dickerson but seemed to make the big pitch when he needed it to stay out of bigger trouble.

Reymin Guduan authored a scoreless seventh in relief of Morton but another bullpen implosion occurred in the eighth. Michael Feliz gave up a home run to the only batter he faced and left the game with "shoulder discomfort." Francis Martes replaced Feliz on the mound and gave up three runs in only two-thirds of an inning. Tony Sipp coughed up a home run to start the ninth but, thankfully, was able to retire the next three batters to close out the win.

Fisher and Marisnick had three hits apiece. Jake drove in five runs and scored four. Altuve went 2-for-4 and three other Astros enjoyed multi-hit performances.

Just before the trade deadline the Astros sent Norichika Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez to Toronto in exchange for Francisco Liriano. The veteran lefty will join the Houston bullpen Tuesday evening when the Astros host the Rays in a 7:10 start.

- Greg Thurston