Astros make it hurt; Giants fall again in Houston

Astros make it hurt; Giants fall again in Houston
August 21, 2011, 1:45 am
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HOUSTON (AP) -- Rookie Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez are giving the Houston Astros a good look at their future.Altuve hit an inside-the-park drive for his first major league home run, a leadoff shot that sent the Astros over the San Francisco Giants 7-5 Saturday night.
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Altuve had three hits and Martinez homered, doubled and drove in four runs as the Astros matched a season high with their fourth straight win."It's nice to see everyone do well, not just us," Martinez said. "I feel that the guys are starting to jell together and see what everyone can do. What they bring to the table and what their role on the team is. It's nice to see us putting everything together and winning games."Rookie Jordan Lyles (2-7) gave up two runs, both of them unearned, in five innings. Mark Melancon got two outs for his 13th save."I can't say enough about them," Lyles said of his fellow rookies. "The night that Altuve and J.D. had. The monster shot that J.D. had. It's a little bit easier when they put up big innings like that."Astros manager Brad Mills said Lyles did a good job of pitching around the seven hits he allowed.Madison Bumgarner (7-12) was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings."I felt like it was a battle the whole night trying to get the ball where it's supposed to go," Bumgarner said. "I was trying to fight through it and make pitches. They did a good job tonight of hitting the ball."
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"Just one of those days," he said. "You don't really have anything working. Just have to find a way to get through it. It stinks that I gave up that many runs, especially with our offense scoring five runs."Aubrey Huff homered and Cody Ross and Pablo Sandoval each drove in two runs for the Giants, who have lost three in a row and 16 of 22.Altuve opened the bottom of the first with a drive off the wall in left-center field. Ross came over from center field to track down the ball and relayed to shortstop Mike Fontenot, whose throw to the plate was high and wide.Third base coach Dave Clark put up a stop sign, but Altuve ran through it and scored."As soon as I hit it, I knew it was in the gap," Altuve said. "I just kept running hard. I saw that the center fielder didn't know where the ball was. I just kept running. As I was close to third base, I tried to look up, but Sandoval was blocking me, so I couldn't see. When I realized there was a sign, it was too late."The home run was the first inside-the-parker for the Astros at Minute Maid Park since Adam Everett on Aug. 6, 2003. The last Houston player to hit an inside-the-park shot for his first career homer was pitcher Butch Henry on May 8, 1992, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.Tony Campana of the Cubs was the last player whose first big league home run was inside the park. He did it Aug. 5 against Cincinnati.The Astros scored four times in the third for a 5-0 lead. Martinez hit a double that drove in Lyles and Altuve, who had both singled. Later in the inning, an error by Bumgarner set up Jimmy Paredes' RBI single and Clint Barmes' sacrifice fly.Ross cut it to 5-2 with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth. Huff hit a solo homer in the seventh.Martinez extended the lead to 7-3 with his fifth homer, a two-run shot that chased Bumgarner.Melancon relieved in the ninth and gave up Sandoval's two-run double before getting two groundouts to end it.NOTES: Giants OF Carlos Beltran, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 8 with a strained right hand, took batting practice from the right side and hit from both sides in the batting cage before the game. ... Houston recalled LHP Wesley Wright from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned RHP Jeff Fulchino to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Houston wore jerseys with "Los Astros" across the front for the first time in team history. ... RHP Henry Sosa (0-2) gets the start in the series finale Sunday against the Giants. San Francisco announced LHP Dan Runzler (1-2) as its starter. It would be Runzler's first start of the season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said LHP Jonathan Sanchez, who has a left ankle sprain, would not start after reporting soreness in his ankle after throwing off a flat surface Friday. ... Bill Doran was the last Astros player to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run, doing it on April 22, 1987, against Atlanta in the Astrodome.