Astros strike early, cruise past Diamondbacks

PHOENIX (AP) - The Houston Astros had six extra-base hits in the first four innings, building a big enough lead to hold off the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-4 on Tuesday.

The Astros managed only four hits over the last five innings, but one was Max Stassi's solo home run in the ninth.

Houston jumped to an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Brad Peacock couldn't get out of the bottom of the fifth, so Francis Martes (5-2) came on and struck out all four batters he faced in 1 1/3 innings for the victory.

Peacock's double gave the Astros a 7-0 lead after Diamondbacks starter Anthony Banda intentionally walked eighth-place hitter Jake Marisnick to put runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the third.

The Astros scored five runs off Banda in the second inning on three doubles, a triple, a single and a wild pitch. Four runs came with two outs, as George Springer's double drove in Marisnick and Stassi, and Alex Bregman tripled into the right-field corner to drive in Springer.

Springer raised his American League-leading batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs to .462.

© 2017 Associated Press


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