July 20, 2013 in Sports

Miller’s two homers, five RBIs ignite Mariners win

Kristie Rieken Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Brad Miller connects on his second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the eighth inning Friday, to guide Seattle over Houston.
(Full-size photo)

HOUSTON – Rookie Brad Miller hit his first two major league homers and drove in five runs, and the Seattle Mariners overcame rookie Brandon Barnes’ cycle for the Astros in a 10-7 win over Houston on Friday night.

Miller, who started the season in Double-A, launched a two-run shot to the second deck in right field to chase starter Bud Norris (6-9) and make it 6-2 in the sixth inning. He finished with three hits and added a three-run homer when he sent one to the first row in right field in the eighth.

Kyle Seager extended his major league-best hitting streak to 15 games with a two-run homer that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead in the second, and Justin Smoak hit a solo home run in the ninth.

Barnes hit a solo homer in the second and had a run-scoring triple in the fourth. He singled in the sixth and completed the cycle with a sharp groundball double down the right-field line in the eighth. He added a single in the ninth to finish 5 for 5 and become the first Astro to collect five hits since Hunter Pence did it in May 2008.

It was Seattle’s 23rd straight game with at least one homer to extend the team record.

It is tied for the sixth-longest such streak in major league history dating to 1916.

Mariners starter Joe Saunders (9-8) yielded nine hits and three runs with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for his fourth straight win. Tom Wilhelmsen allowed two hits and a run in 1 1/3 innings for his 20th save.

Norris had a second straight tough start, allowing six hits and six runs with four walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Norris has allowed 17 hits and 13 runs in his last two starts.

Miller’s dazzling play wasn’t limited to offense. He also had a nice night on defense, starting a nifty double play in the fourth by flipping a grounder hit by J.D. Martinez to second baseman Nick Franklin. Franklin barehanded the ball and threw it to first to complete the double play.

Barnes became the second player this season to hit for the cycle against the Mariners. Mike Trout of the Angels did it on May 21.

It is the eighth time an Astro has hit for the cycle and the first time since Luke Scott did it on May 28, 2006, against Arizona.

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