With Correa down, Gattis steps up for Astros

July 19th, 2017

HOUSTON -- In the first game after the Astros revealed they will be without their RBI leader until September, Houston's search for offense to replace Correa wasn't tough to find.

In the second inning of Tuesday's game against the Mariners, catcher Evan Gattis gashed a solo homer. Four innings later, he did it again in a 6-2 win over the Mariners.

"It's definitely cool to get two in a day," Gattis said, who has eight career multi-homer games.

"Yeah, they come in bunches," Hinch said. "He can get hot with the best of them. He can ambush you."

Gattis' pair of solo homers were his ninth and 10th this season, as he became the ninth Astro with double-digit home runs in 2017. Houston's nine players with 10-plus home runs is the most by any club in the Majors. Gattis bumped his season RBI total to 41. He's the eighth Astro to have 40 or more RBIs in 2017.

Gattis, the Astros' No. 7-hole hitter and catcher on Tuesday, blasted his first homer a projected 433 feet, according to Statcast™. His second didn't reach 60 feet in height, yet was rocketed 407 feet to left field. Both of his homers left his bat at an exit velocity faster than 105 mph.

The rugged reserve catcher behind seven-time All-Star catcher has played in seven of the Astros' 13 games in July.

Yet, reliably, Gattis has hit five homers in those seven games. Although not an everyday guy behind the plate, Gattis' power-happy bat remains significant.

"He can really do some damage," Hinch said. "He's not getting the playing time that his skill level warrants. He's creeping into it. He's going to play tomorrow. I'm trying to get him as many at-bats as we can. When I put him in there, the threat is always there. His damage is really good lately. And that's not forgotten."