Big inning a respite from offensive woes

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SEATTLE — The Astros finally had the kind of breakout offensive performance they have been waiting for, banging out a season-high 14 hits in Tuesday’s 7-5 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field. That included a four-run sixth inning that saw Houston bat around for the first time this season after the first two hitters made outs.

The sixth-inning rally, which netted a season-high four runs in an inning, was keyed by a three-run double by pinch-hitter Evan Gattis, who blooped a fly ball that fell to the ground after glancing off the glove of charging right fielder Mitch Haniger. Alex Bregman added an RBI single to put the Astros ahead, 6-3.

Gattis' base-clearing double

“We did swing the bat a lot better, especially in the inning when we had two outs and nobody on,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We ended up with six straight base runners, a couple of walks in there, couple of fortunate hits, a couple of bullets. We have a good offense. Obviously, we haven’t gotten untracked yet, but a much better showing by our lineup.”

George Springer, Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran each went 2-for-5, with Springer hitting his fourth leadoff homer. Yuli Gurriel was 3-for-4, and Josh Reddick was 2-for-2. It was Gattis who pinch-hit for Reddick in the sixth after Seattle brought in a lefty reliever.

Beltran's RBI single

After Mariners starter Ariel Miranda retired Correa and Beltran to start the sixth, Brian McCann and Marwin Gonzalez walked. Gurriel beat out a high chopper off the plate to load the bases for Gattis, who faced lefty reliever James Pazos.

The Astros had six consecutive batters reach base after two outs in the sixth.

“We had some great at-bats the inning that we scored four and then Evan got the big hit,” Springer said. “Two-out RBIs are clutch, and he stepped up big tonight. Hopefully we can continue down that road.”

Questions about the Astros’ sluggish offense plagued Hinch in the first week of season, and he can only hope the bats are getting in gear.

“We’re going to get some hits and piece them together a little bit,” he said. “George started the night off in great fashion again. When it warms up, we’re going to have some homers, we’re going to be able to piece some innings together, we’re going to be able to score in multiple ways, and I think that’s going to be key to have a balanced offense.”

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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