Astros come out swinging in home opener

April 12th, 2016

HOUSTON -- The top of the batting order set the tone, but almost everybody got involved. The Astros' offense clicked beautifully on Monday night at Minute Maid Park, setting season highs in hits (14) and runs in an 8-2 win over the Royals.

Jose Altuve (3-for-4), George Springer (2-for-5), Carlos Correa (3-for-5), Colby Rasmus (2-for-4) and Tyler White (2-for-4) went a combined 12-for-22 and overwhelmed Royals starter Chris Young, who was rocked for six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"It seems like when we go out there and do those kinds of things, it looks like we're really good," said Altuve, who scored three runs and stole two bases. "We're going to try to be consistent throughout the season and trying to go out there and do what we know how to do and win a lot of games."

When the Astros are doing things right, there's quality at-bats throughout the lineup. They were 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and Rasmus' two-run homer in the first inning extended the club's record streak of consecutive games with a homer to start a season to seven.

"We ran the bases aggressively. We played with a chip on our shoulder, as well, based on coming home and feeding off the energy of our home crowd and getting into our home routine was a step in the right direction," manager A.J. Hinch said. "The environment today was exceptional; the fans were fun to play in front of. Opening Day festivities, the parade that comes with that, certainly fed to a fun environment to our guys, and I'm glad they capitalized and responded."

Rasmus' 412-foot homer in the first inning capped a three-run outburst that was all starter Collin McHugh needed.

"Man, I was looking to battle him," Rasmus said of Young. "He's kind of a timing buster. He can put some tough at-bats against you and mix some pitches up, but he threw a fastball in, and I got my hands to it."

The bottom of the order scored three runs in the fourth, with Preston Tucker drawing a walk and scoring on a Luis Valbuena double. Jason Castro followed with an RBI triple, and Altuve's single pushed the lead to 6-0.

"It was key to score runs early," Correa said. "When we score early our pitchers are more comfortable and they do a way better job. McHugh was able to do the job. He pitched really well. He kept us in the game and we were able to keep scoring runs."