Charlie Morton won his 10th game of the year and pitched into the seventh inning Wednesday night as Houston blew out the Diamondbacks, 9-5, in the first game of a new homestand but the third game of a "rivalry series" against the National League Wild Card leaders. The Astros own a 2-1 edge in their series.
Reddick: Celebrates after homer
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
Morton struck out nine in 6-1/3rd innings while building an early 5-1 lead. When the vipers rallied to get within a run, the batters kicked in again with four tallies late to put the game away. This was Houston's first August winning streak.
Carlos Beltran crushed a Taijuan Walker pitch into the upper deck in right to start the scoring in the second. After Arizona scored to tie the game, Walker filled the bases then walked Marwin Gonzalez to break the tie in the third. Beltran launched a sacrifice fly to build a 3-1 edge. Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel cashed in a pair of runs in the fourth to build the 5-1 cushion.
It stayed quiet until the 8th when Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez combined for three runs off Luke Gregerson with back-to-back homers. It must have felt good for Martinez to go deep against the Astros who had released him outright after his spring training numbers struggled back in 2014. That was 107 homers ago.
No problem. Houston just turned their scoring machine back on. Juan Centeno and Derek Fisher opened the eighth with singles off T.J. McFarland. David Hernandez entered in relief and gave up a sharp single to George Springer, his third of the night.
A wild pitch scored a run then Jose Altuve flew out to Martinez for a sacrifice fly. After a pitching change to Andrew Chafin, Reddick greeted him with a two-run homer into the right field seats. Even though Chris Iannetta thumped James Hoyt with a homer to open the ninth, Hoyt hung in to close out the 9-5 triumph.
Everyone in the Houston lineup had at least one of their 16 hits and six of them turned in multi-hit performances. The Astros also swiped a pair of bases to the delight of most of the 27,278 spectators in attendance.
The two squads close out their series Thursday afternoon in an afternoon getaway game. Lefthander Patrick Corbin (9-11) will pitch for Arizona in the finale against the hot and cold Mike Fiers (7-7) in a 1:10 Central battle.
- Bob Hulsey