No. 9 hitter Marisnick homers twice in rout
Houston’s lineup is so powerful that even the Astros’ No. 9 hitter Jake Marisnick has been dangerous at the plate this season.
He proved that once again on Monday night, finishing with three hits, including two homers, and a career-high five RBIs as the Astros coasted to a 14-7win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It’s nice to have thatkind of production at the bottom,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “It really makes things interesting when we roll to the top again no matter who we put at the top. They’ve benefited from some guys at the bottom doing their part.”
The Rays cut the lead to one after a two-run homer by Corey Dickerson in the third inning before an RBI single by Tyler White made it 4-2 in the bottom of the inning.
Marisnick’s three-run homer — his first — came next to push the lead to 7-2.
Two pitches later Derek Fisher, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, homered off Alex Cobb (9-7) to make it 8-2.
The Astros were up 10-2 in the fifth inning when Marisnick hit a solo homer for his second career multihomer game.
“You go 1-9 with us and we can do it and we’ve got guys on the benchthat can do it, too,” Marisnick said. “It’s just a complete team, a complete lineup.”
Houston starter Charlie Morton (9-4) allowed a season-low two hits with two runs in six innings for his fourth win in five starts.
Cobb allowed nine hits and eight runs in a season-low three innings for his first loss since July 2. He had allowed just five runs combined and going 3-0 in his past four starts.
“Alex just didn’t have it,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “He couldn’t quite command the baseball, missing over the plate too much. They came out, and they didn’t miss anything either.”
Jose Altuve added two hits, including a two-run single that pushed Houston’s lead to 3-0 in the second, before being lifted in the seventh.
Dickerson added a solo home run in the eighth inning to give him his seventh multihomer game and third this season.
Houston added three runs in the eighth inning when the Rays put backup catcher Jesus Sucre in to pitch with their bullpen taxed.
Altuve’s month: Altuve wrapped up July with the best batting average in a month in franchise history. The All-Star second baseman hit .485 with 10 doubles, a triple, four homers and 21 RBIs. He surpassed the .476 that Richard Hidalgo posted in September 2000. Altuve’s 48 hits in July were the most in a month by an Astro since Lance Berkman had 49 in May 2008. Altuve said he doesn’t really keep up with what he’s doing, but he was so hot in July it was hard not to notice. “I hit a lot, obviously people told me that,” he said. “But the only thing I’m looking for is to help my team.”