Even a rare victory for the Houston Astros didn't come without bad news.
After losing an everyday player to injury in Tuesday's win over the Seattle Mariners , they'll turn to Lucas Harrell on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park as they seek only their second series win of the season.
Center fielder Justin Maxwell is out indefinitely for Houston (6-14) as he was placed on the disabled list following Tuesday's 3-2 win after being hit by a pitch in the third inning.
"I have to see the hand specialist tomorrow," said Maxwell, one of four Astros to start every game thus far. "But at least we got the win out of it.
Maxwell was hit with the bases loaded, so he can at least say he got credit for bringing home what turned out to be the winning run.
Bud Norris gave up a run in five innings, but it's been eight games since Houston has had a starter make it through six. The rotation has a 12.77 ERA in that stretch.
Harrell (1-2, 4.98 ERA), who didn't face the Mariners when Houston took two of three in Seattle earlier this month, has made it through 5 2-3 in his last two outings. He walked five and allowed five hits Friday against Cleveland, but gave up only two runs in a 3-2 victory.
The right-hander is walking 5.40 batters per nine innings, one of the majors' 10 worst rates."I was struggling to throw strikes again, it's just kind of been a trend right now," Harrell said. "It's something I need to work on between starts and definitely focus on that."
Harrell may not exactly have his work cut out for him as he takes on a Seattle offense that has been anemic. Tuesday marked the sixth time in eight games the Mariners (8-14) were limited to two runs or fewer, and the team is batting .226 on the season.
Seattle is 6 for 37 (.162) with runners in scoring position as it's dropped four of five on this road trip.
"I do think we have guys heading in the right direction," manager Eric Wedge said. "That is obvious by the quality of the at-bats. Having said that, it's all about winning and losing, and we have to do a better job of finding a way to win ballgames."
Before returning home, the Mariners give the ball to Joe Saunders (1-2, 4.50), who has already stifled Houston once. He threw 6 1-3 shutout innings against the Astros on April 8, limiting them to one hit, but was shelled by the Rangers on Friday for seven runs on nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Walks also have been a serious issue for Saunders, who's 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three starts against the Astros. He's yielded 10 in 22 innings - including two in a six-run fifth against Texas.
Both offenses continue to see individual bright spots with Seattle's Kyle Seager and Houston's Marwin Gonzalez . Seager has hit safely in a career-best 12 games, going 17 for 45 (.378) in that span with seven doubles, two homers, and eight RBIs. Before that, he was 5 for 34 (.147) in nine games.
Gonzalez connected for a solo homer on Tuesday, his third this year in 45 at-bats. He totaled two all of last year in 205 ABs.
|April 23, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 22, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Torn right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Stephen Pryor||15-Day DL||Torn right lat muscle|
|April 12, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Fractured finger|
|April 11, 2013||Michael Saunders||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|April 10, 2013||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Sprained right shoulder|
|April 24, 2013||Justin Maxwell||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|April 20, 2013||J.D. Martinez||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|April 19, 2013||J.D. Martinez||Day-to-Day||Sprained Knee|
|April 05, 2013||Travis Blackley||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|April 05, 2013||Travis Blackley||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|April 04, 2013||Josh Fields||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
HOUSTON (AP) -- Robbie Grossman remembers sitting in the Astrodome as a child watching the Killer Bs of Craig Biggio , Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman , and dreaming of playing for Houston one day.
He got his chance on Wednesday, and he doubled twice in his major league debut to help the Astros to a 10-3 win over the Seattle Mariners .
"I remember going to the Astrodome and watching games, but this park is something else," said Grossman, who grew up in suburban Houston. "I wanted to be a professional ballplayer and play at the highest level and being an Astro is just the icing on the cake."
Chris Carter , Ronny Cedeno and Brandon Laird homered, and Lucas Harrell pitched seven innings as Houston took the rubber game of the series. Four of the Astros' seven wins this season have come against the Mariners, their new AL West foe.
Seattle and Miami are the only teams without a series win this season.
Carter hit a solo shot in the second, Cedeno belted a three-run shot in the fourth and Laird also connected for a three-run drive in Houston's five-run sixth. The Astros have homered in eight straight games, matching their longest such streak since June 2009.
Harrell (2-2) allowed a run and six hits in his longest outing of the season.
"That felt like a complete game," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "We pitched well, we hit well, we made all the plays."
Laird had a career-high three hits and four RBIs, and Grossman became the first player since Carlos Gonzalez in 2008 to hit two doubles in his first major league game. He joins James Mouton (1994) as the only players to accomplish the feat with Houston.
The Astros considered waiting for Grossman to join them in Boston on Thursday, but thought it would be special for him to play his first game at Minute Maid Park.
"We're pretty excited for him," Porter said. "He adds a dynamic to our club, some more speed at the top of the lineup and a guy that gets on base."
The Mariners closed out a 1-5 road trip. They were outscored 36-8 in the five losses.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge held a team meeting following the latest setback, but wouldn't divulge what was discussed.
"It's been a bad road trip, and we are not off to the start we'd like, for sure," Wedge said. "But we have the players in there to be a good team, and that is what bothers me more than anything. We just have to peck away and get this thing turned around."
Joe Saunders (1-3) had a second straight rough outing, with the Astros getting to him for 11 hits and eight runs in five-plus innings. He has given up 20 hits and 15 runs in his last two starts.
"Just a bad day. That is all I care to say," Saunders said. "We'll just turn the page on it, go get them next time and forget about this one."
Carter opened the second inning with a drive to left field to make it 1-0. He is tied for the team lead with five homers, but Wednesday was his first at Minute Maid Park.
"I was just like: `Finally, I hit a ball here,' because I've done everything on the road," he said. "It feels good to hit one here in front of the fans."
Grossman collected his first major league hit on a ground-rule double with one out in the third. Grossman was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday night after Justin Maxwell went on the disabled list with a broken hand.
Carter drew a walk with one out in the fourth before a single by Carlos Corporan . Cedeno then hit a drive to left for his first homer of the season, pushing the lead to 4-0.
Grossman led off the fifth with another double and scored on Laird's one-out double.
Harrell retired eight in a row before Dustin Ackley singled with one out in the fifth. But Robert Andino then grounded into a double play.
The Mariners got on the board in the sixth. Endy Chavez and Kyle Seager opened the inning with consecutive singles, and Chavez scored when Kendrys Morales grounded into a double play.
Michael Morse singled before second baseman Jose Altuve ended the inning with a slick defensive play. He made a diving stop on a grounder hit by Justin Smoak and flipped over to make the throw to first from a near sitting position.
Smoak hit a solo homer in the ninth inning.
NOTES: Seager has a career-high 13-game hitting streak. ... The Mariners return home on Thursday to open a four-game series against the Angels. Seattle's Brandon Maurer will oppose Garrett Richards . ... Houston travels to Boston where Philip Humber will face Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz . ... Wedge said before the game that Andino would replace Brendan Ryan as the starting shortstop for now. Ryan is a solid defender, but has struggled on offense with a .143 average and is just 1 for his last 25. ... Seattle OF Michael Saunders , who is on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder, could go out for a rehabilitation assignment as soon as Friday.