HOUSTON – Houston’s powerful offense got a boost with a breakout game from rookie Taylor Jones, helping the Astros to another rout of the Seattle Mariners.
Jones had a career-high four RBIs and finished a single shy of the cycle, and Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run homer as the Astros beat Seattle 15-1 on Saturday.
“[Jones has] made some adjustments … he’s swinging the bat great and he has corrected some flaws,” manager Dusty Baker said.
The victory comes after Houston won the series opener 12-3 on Friday night. The AL West-leading Astros are 5-1 against the Mariners at home this season and have outscored them 41-12 in those games.
“Not our day here the last couple of days,” manager Scott Servais said. “You have to give the Astros credit. They blew our doors off the last couple of days.”
After hitting a triple in the sixth inning, Jones was angling to complete the cycle on his last at-bat in the eighth inning.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in the back of my mind,” he said. “I had a good pitch, but I missed it and popped it up.”
Jose Altuve added a season best four hits to help the Astros to their third straight win after losing four in a row.
“We have great hitters,” Altuve said. “From the leadoff to the ninth hitter, everybody can do damage. We can be very dangerous when we focus on what we’re doing.”
After jumping on starter Yusei Kikuchi for seven runs in 22/3 innings on Friday, the Astros got to rookie Logan Gilbert (5-5) early on Saturday, too.
They were up 1-0 with no outs in the third inning when rookie Jacob Wilson tripled for the first extra-base hit of his career. Wilson scored on a wild pitch by Gilbert before a single by Altuve with one out. Carlos Correa walked with two outs before Alvarez homered for a second straight game, extending the lead to 5-0.
Jones, whose three hits were also a career best, opened Houston’s fifth with his shot to left-center to make it 6-0.
Jones was a 19th-round selection out of Gonzaga by the Astros in the 2016 draft.
Houston starter Jake Odorizzi (6-6) yielded four hits and one run with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings to bounce back after allowing a season-high eight hits with four runs in his last start.
Altuve he doubled with no outs in the fifth and scored on a single by Michael Brantley. There were two outs in the inning when Yuli Gurriel singled to chase Gilbert. He was replaced by Robert Duggar, who was greeted with an RBI double by Jones. Jake Meyers drove in a run with a single and scored on a double by Wilson, giving Houston an 11-0 lead.
Altuve batted for the second time in the inning after a walk by Martín Maldonado and singled to drive in another run.
Gilbert permitted eight hits and a career-high nine runs in 42/3 innings for his third consecutive loss.
“He just struggled to put them away,” Servais said. “It’s a very veteran team over there that doesn’t panic.”
Seattle’s Mitch Haniger hit his 28th home run with a shot to left field in the sixth inning.
Jones drove in two runs with a triple in a three-run sixth inning that made it 15-1.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.