Welcome Back, Astros' Offense!
Five-run Second Paces 9-4 Victory

Springer: Part of big rally.
(c) Associated Press
Like an old friend, the Astros' offense resurfaced after a long layoff Tuesday to give the weary pitching staff a breather. The 9-4 victory over Arizona evened the interleague rivalry series at a game apiece with the final two games back in H-town and proved, yet again, that the Designated Hitter rule is superfluous.

Brad Peacock sought his team-leading 11th win and it looked likely after Houston scored five in the second off lefty Anthony Banda. J.D. Davis scorched a drive over the head of J.D. Martinez in right to start the attack. Houston soon concluded the former Astro Martinez was vulnerable to making long runs in the outfield with his sore knees.

Catcher Max Stassi, brought up yesterday when catcher Brian McCann went onto the Disabled List, sent a sharp liner past third for an RBI double. Jake Marisnick blooped a fly ball in front of Martinez then George Springer cracked an RBI double into the gap in right-center. Next, Alex Bregman crushed a triple past Martinez to plate Springer. Finally, Bregman scored, too, on a wild pitch to build the 5-0 lead.

Peacock got into the act in the third when he smashed a double past Martinez into the right field corner for his first two major league RBIs. Yuli Gurriel tripled into the left-center alley to plate Jose Altuve in the fourth.

That's when the Snakes countered with a rally of their own. Doubles by A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb pushed two runs across for an 8-2 deficit. Paul Goldschmidt added a fourth run an inning later for Arizona.

Despite Peacock's banner day at the plate, he left the game one out short of the needed 15 for an official win. Frances Martes entered and squelched the threat while eventually getting the victory.

Chirs Devenski, Luke Gregerson and Francisco Liriano mopped up the final three innings as the Astros fanned 17 batters in the contest.

Stassi, in his first game as an Astro this year, capped his day with a solo homer near the swimming pool in the ninth. He was one of four Astros with multi-hit games.

As mentioned, the Astros and Diamondbacks flew after the game to Houston to conclude the four-game series. Charlie Morton (9-5) will toe the rubber for the Astros against former Mariner Taijuan Walker (6-6) in Wednesday's 7:10 Central shootout. Coming off a 2-6 road trip, the Astros are glad to be back at Minute Maid despite the 33-25 home record.

- Bob Hulsey