SEATTLE -- If ever a team needed a few big swings of the bat, it was the Astros.Evan Gattis drilled a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Josh Reddick added a two-run blast in the ninth inning to send the Astros to a 5-2 win over the Mariners
SEATTLE -- If ever a team needed a few big swings of the bat, it was the Astros.
Evan Gattis drilled a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Josh Reddick added a two-run blast in the ninth inning to send the Astros to a 5-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Safeco Field, ending a season-long five-game losing streak.
The Astros extended their lead in the American League West over the Mariners to four games heading into Wednesday's series finale. With the victory, Houston finished July with a winning record (13-11) -- its fourth consecutive winning month this season.
"Fifteen hits is a good sign," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "We played a clean game. The guys came in and did a great job. … It's nice to put some hits together, especially late when the game was close. Just an overall good feeling to win."
Houston's sluggish offense, which has been without star shortstop Carlos Correa (back) and star second baseman Jose Altuve (knee), suffered another injury when All-Star outfielder George Springer left in the second inning with left shoulder soreness. Still, the Astros banged out 15 hits, including three by Alex Bregman and Reddick.
"We go into the game not trying too hard," said Reddick, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and snapped an 0-for-16 skid with an RBI single in the fifth. "We can't try to make up too much for those guys because obviously we're not those guys and what they can do. We just have to piece it together and hopefully put a few guys that can make one of them."
Without three of the team's biggest threats, Gattis came through when he clubbed an 0-1 pitch from Mike Leake in the sixth inning and sailed it into the left-field seats for a two-run homer to give the Astros a 3-1 lead. Reddick's homer off Zach Duke in the ninth made it 5-2.
"I don't think effort has been a problem," Gattis said. "I just don't think the results have been what everybody wants, and I think you can get negative when you're trying to do too much, even collectively. Any time we get rolling it's good. I know we have Altuve and 'Los [Correa] out and hopefully we can weather the storm a little bit and get back to firing on all cylinders."
Astros starter Charlie Morton (12-2) struck out eight batters in six innings, allowing two runs and six hits to get the win. Jean Segura took him deep in the fourth, and Mitch Haniger's RBI single in the sixth cut the Houston lead to 3-2.
"His command of his pitches was overall good night," Hinch said. "He got some big swings and misses when he needed to and some soft contact. He got a couple of hits that barely left the infield or barely got to the fielder, so his ball had late movement, it had some velocity. The breaking ball was good and he threw a couple of splits. You can't ask for much more out of him."
The Astros' 15 hits were one shy of their total from the previous three games combined.
HE SAID IT
"Sipp's quietly become the Sipp of old that we've put in leverage spots in really tough at-bats against lefties. He also has some weapons for some righties. He's a big addition back into our bullpen, even though he never left us. It's nice to have him confident and pitching well and pitches to get both hitters out." -- Hinch on Tony Sipp, who struck out Andrew Romine and Dee Gordon to end the seventh
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 3.60 ERA) will start for the Astros in Wednesday's 3:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Mariners at Safeco Field. Keuchel saw his five-game winning streak snapped Friday when he lost to the Rangers. Former Astros pitcher Wade LeBlanc (6-1, 3.51 ERA) will start for Seattle.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.