HOUSTON -- Who could have guessed all the scuffling Astros needed was to give All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve a night off?The Astros, who were without Altuve and injured stars Carlos Correa and George Springer, broke out of their offensive malaise by clubbing five homers, including two by Tyler White,
HOUSTON -- Who could have guessed all the scuffling Astros needed was to give All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve a night off?
The Astros, who were without Altuve and injured stars Carlos Correa and George Springer, broke out of their offensive malaise by clubbing five homers, including two by Tyler White, to snap a three-game losing streak with a 16-7 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
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"First and foremost, we have a really good offense," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, whose club scored nine runs in the fourth inning. "I think sometimes we've been so good for so long we get a little bit ahead of ourselves when we get shut down. I don't want the narrative to get out that we're not a good team or we're not a good offense. It is unusual for us to go a stretch like that [seven runs in three previous games]; it's not unusual for us to have big nights when we put good at-bats together."
The Astros have outscored the Blue Jays, 53-24, in five games this season and are batting .353 with 17 homers against Toronto.
"Yeah, they're good," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "We've seen them five times now, they can do that. They're missing three of their top dogs, too. Great hitting park and we didn't pitch particularly well."
The Astros set a franchise record with their sixth game of at least 18 hits.
"It's fun to be a part of this offense," Astros shortstop Alex Bregman said. "We've had the best offense in baseball this season, so we've had a lot of innings like this this year. They're just fun. Everybody's battling and putting together good at-bats and squaring the ball up. Another example of that tonight."
Yuli Gurriel (3-for-3 with two walks, three runs and three RBIs) and Bregman both homered in the nine-run fourth inning, as the Astros (70-39) reached 70 wins faster than any team in franchise history. They have a 15-game lead on the Mariners in the American League West and a 9 1/2-game lead on the Red Sox for the AL's best record.
Brad Peacock (10-1) became the Astros' first 10-game winner by winning his seventh consecutive decision, though he allowed seven runs on nine hits in six innings. Kendrys Morales, Russell Martin and Ryan Goins each homered off Peacock, who had given up only two homers in 75 2/3 innings entering the game.
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Toronto starter Cesar Valdez (1-1) was rocked for six hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Clout 9: The Astros sent 15 batters to the plate and scored nine runs in the fourth to blow the game open. That included two-out homers by Bregman (two-run shot) and Marwin Gonzalez (three-run shot) as Houston saw nine consecutive batters reach with two outs. Bregman ended the inning by flying out at the left-field wall with the bases loaded.
"If not the best in baseball, they're one of the best," said Goins. "They have power. They can run. There's not an easy out one through nine. They've got a couple guys filling in today and they still put up 15 runs."
Great White White, who was called up for the first time this year on July 23, went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, two homers, a double and a career-high five RBIs. The four hits were also a career high. It was White's second career two-homer game, and the 11th multihomer game by an Astros player this year.
"It's always good to have some success," White said. "It was good to come out tonight. Everybody was hitting. It was contagious and it was a lot of fun to be in the lineup tonight and just try to put good swings on the ball every at-bat."
"A lot would have to happen for the triple. -- Hinch, on White needing a triple to hit for the cycle
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Gurriel, who earlier this week was named AL Rookie of the Month for July, tied a franchise single-season rookie record with his 30th double (Hunter Pence set the record with 30 in 2007).
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
A crew-chief review in the fifth inning determined a Martin fly ball to left-center that was originally called a double cleared the yellow line and was a homer.
Blue Jays:Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.19 ERA) will make his 23rd start at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. The right-hander hasn't recorded a victory since May 27, a span of 11 starts.
Astros:Charlie Morton (9-4) will try to join Peacock as a 10-game winner when he starts Saturday's 6:10 p.m. CT game. The Astros will honor Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, who was inducted on Sunday, in a ceremony prior to the game.
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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. He covered the Blue Jays on Friday.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.