Astros 6, Giants 3
J.D. Martinez wasted little time when he stepped into the
batter’s box after Barry Zito walked three consecutive batters to
open the third inning.
Martinez hit his first career grand slam to end an 0-for-12 skid
and the Houston Astros avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-3 win
over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
”He was making some mistakes, falling behind hitters and walked
three guys,” Martinez said. ”I knew he had to give me something
to hit. That was my mindset. I was going to be aggressive and go
Matt Downs also homered and Justin Maxwell drove in a run for
the Astros, who dropped 13 of their previous 17 games – including a
10-0 loss Wednesday night when Giants ace Matt Cain pitched a
Jose Altuve had two hits and a walk. The young second baseman
ranks among the major league leaders in average and hits.
”We had to bounce back today and we had to get runs early,”
Downs said. ”Altuve set the tone early and got it over with. That
pumped all of us up.”
Wandy Rodriguez (6-4) went six innings to win his third straight
decision, allowing three runs and six hits. Brett Myers worked the
ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.
”He was able to give us a quality start,” manager Brad Mills
said. ”That two-out home run was a little bit of a hiccup but,
it’s always nice to get at least one game in the series.”
Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer and Hector Sanchez added a
sacrifice fly for the Giants, who are 12-5 in their past 17
Zito (5-4) lasted five innings, allowing five runs and five
hits. He walked three and struck out three in losing two straight
decisions for the first time this season.
”I screwed up making pitches and things happened after that,”
After tossing 8 1-3 shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs on
June 3, Zito has allowed nine runs and 14 hits in his last 11
”He was throwing the ball well,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy
said. ”He allowed a solo home run and then got out of sync.”
Downs gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with his fourth homer of the
season with two outs in the second.
Zito walked Altuve, Brian Bixler and Jed Lowrie in succession to
open the third, setting up Martinez’s slam that traveled halfway up
the left-field bleachers. The left-hander has allowed four home
runs in his past two games after giving up four in his previous
”I was relieved I was able to come through for the team,”
Martinez said. ”We kept telling each other to attack them early
and score early.”
Maxwell’s two-out single in the eighth gave the Astros a 6-3
Belt’s third home run in three days put the Giants on the
scoreboard in the fourth. His two-run shot cleared the right-field
bleachers and landed in McCovey Cove.
Sanchez hit his sacrifice fly in the sixth.
NOTES: Giants 1B Aubrey Huff underwent an MRI to assess damage
in his bruised right knee, injured when he jumped over the dugout
railing after Cain’s perfect game. … Martinez has 13 RBIs in 10
games against the Giants. … Astros slugger Carlos Lee was slated
to start a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi. … The
Astros have signed 26 of their 41 draft picks, including 15 of the
first 21. … Giants INF Joaquin Arias extended his career-best
hitting streak to eight games. … Altuve recorded his 28th
multihit game. … Martinez hit two grand slams in Double-A last