But picking himself up could prove challenging against the Seattle Mariners , who entered the All-Star break riding baseball's strongest power surge.
Norris and the Astros try to slow down Raul Ibanez and the Mariners at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
Norris (6-8, 3.63) surrendered a career-high 11 hits and matched a season worst by allowing seven runs over five innings in a 9-5 loss at St. Louis on July 9. The right-hander had posted a 2.29 ERA in his previous nine outings, though he lost 4-0 at Seattle on June 11.
To make matters worse, Norris also twisted his ankle after a pitch in the second inning against the Cardinals, though the injury wasn't serious.
"It's pretty sore, I tried to battle through it," said Norris, whose ERA leads Houston starters. "I definitely tweaked it."
While Norris gave up a two-run homer to Matt Holliday , he's limited opponents to 0.6 homers per nine innings - the second fewest among AL starters.
Norris will have to be mindful of the long ball against the Mariners (43-52), whose 37 homers and .481 slugging percentage since June 20 are the best in the majors.
Ibanez has fueled the hot stretch, hitting 10 homers with 22 RBIs in 21 games during that span with an OPS of 1.172. His 24 home runs are tied for fourth in the AL and leave him five shy of Ted Williams ' 1960 record for the most in a season at the age of 41.
"He's the same guy every day, on and off the field," manager Eric Wedge said of Ibanez, whose power has helped the Mariners to 115 homers, tied for baseball's second most after their 149 were the league's fourth fewest in 2012. "He prepares as well as anybody, if not more so than that."
Ibanez is 5 for 17 with a homer and two doubles off Norris, who also beat Seattle 3-2 at home on April 23.
Mariners starter Joe Saunders (8-8, 4.24) comes in trying to win his fourth straight start. He was the winning pitcher in Seattle's 3-0 home victory over the Astros on April 8, but a 10-3 loss in Houston was consistent with his road struggles earlier in the season.
The left-hander went 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA in his first five road starts, but has since gone 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA in five starts away from Safeco Field.
He shut out the Los Angeles Angels for seven innings while yielding five hits in an 8-3 victory at home last Friday.
J.D. Martinez, batting .256, went 10 for 28 (.357) in his last seven games prior to the All-Star break. He's 1 for 5 off Saunders.
The Astros (33-61) have lost six of their last seven at home but took two of the teams' first three meetings at Minute Maid Park and own a 5-4 advantage in the season series.
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|June 21, 2013||Michael Morse||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
|July 09, 2013||Ronny Cedeno||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left toe|
|June 29, 2013||Justin Maxwell||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|June 29, 2013||Justin Maxwell||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|June 21, 2013||Trevor Crowe||15-Day DL||Sprained AC joint in right shoulder|
|May 26, 2013||Edgar Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|May 21, 2013||Bud Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back spasms|
HOUSTON (AP) -- Seattle rookie Brad Miller waited 72 at-bats for his first major league homer.
The second one came much quicker.
Miller hit his first two major league homers on consecutive at-bats and drove in five runs as the Mariners overcame rookie Brandon Barnes ' cycle for the Astros in a 10-7 win over Houston on Friday night.
"I was obviously pumped after the first one, hitting the ball well," he said. "I was just trying to have another good at-bat and I was able to get another one. So it was fun."
Miller, who started the season in Double-A, launched a two-run shot to the second deck in right field to chase starter Bud Norris (6-9) and make it 6-2 in the sixth.
"It felt pure and I kind of blacked out there for a little bit," he said.
He finished with three hits and added a three-run homer when he sent one to the first row in right field, just beyond the grasp of a leaping Justin Maxwell , in the eighth.
"I didn't see it originally off the bat and then I saw Maxwell turn. I'm like: `Gosh, he's like 7-foot tall. He's about to do something,"' Miller said of the 6-foot-5 Maxwell. "He was sizing up the wall and I'm like: `Just go.' And luckily it just got out of his reach."
Manager Eric Wedge was impressed with the work of his rookie.
"He has some power," Wedge said. "He has considerable power talking about ball off the bat, the way it jumps. He's going to be a hitter first. He'll hit a few home runs."
Kyle Seager extended his major league-best hitting streak to 15 games with a two-run homer that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead in the second, and Justin Smoak hit a solo home run in the ninth.
Barnes hit a solo homer in the second inning and had a run-scoring triple in the fourth. He singled in the sixth inning and completed the cycle with a sharp groundball double down the right field line in the eighth inning.
"That's a great feat, and it doesn't happen in our game every day," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "To accomplish it in a big-league game is pretty impressive, and it couldn't have happened to a better guy."
He added a single in the ninth to finish 5 for 5 and become the first Astro to collect five hits since Hunter Pence did it in May 2008.
It was Seattle's 23rd straight game with at least one homer to extend the team record. It is tied for the sixth-longest such streak in major league history dating to 1916.
Mariners starter Joe Saunders (9-8) yielded nine hits and three runs with six strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings for his fourth straight win. Tom Wilhelmsen allowed two hits and a run in 1 1-3 innings for his 20th save.
Norris had a second straight tough start, allowing six hits and six runs with four walks in 5 2-3 innings. He has allowed 17 hits and 13 runs in his last two starts.
Miller's dazzling play wasn't limited to offense on Friday night. He also had a nice night on defense, starting a nifty double play in the fourth inning by flipping a grounder hit by J.D. Martinez to second baseman Nick Franklin . Franklin barehanded the ball and threw it to first to complete the double play.
Barnes became the second player this season to hit for the cycle against the Mariners. Mike Trout of the Angels did it on May 21.
It is the eighth time an Astro has hit for the cycle and the first time since Luke Scott did it on May 28, 2006, against Arizona.
Barnes is the first right-handed hitter to accomplish the feat since Craig Biggio did it on April 8, 2002, at Colorado. Barnes pumped his fist after he beat the throw into second base on his double.
Saunders walked Justin Maxwell with one out in the sixth before a single by Barnes. He was replaced by Yoervis Medina after Matt Dominguez drew a walk to load the bases.
Pinch hitter Brett Wallace grounded into a force out that scored a run to cut the lead to 6-3.
Wallace added a two-run homer in Houston's three-run eighth inning.
Kendrys Morales singled to start the fourth inning. Seager gave Seattle a 2-1 lead with his shot to left field. Norris plunked Michael Saunders with one out before walking Mike Zunino . Dustin Ackley followed with a double that rolled into the left-field corner to score two and push the lead to 4-1.
Houston's Jason Castro hit his 26th double of the season in the first inning to pass Brad Ausmus for most doubles by a catcher in team history. Ausmus had 25 in 1997.
NOTES: The series continues Saturday when Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4) opposes Erik Bedard (3-6). ... Houston will recall RHP Jarred Cosart from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday to start against Oakland. The 23-year-old took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and got the win, allowing just two hits and no runs in eight-plus innings in his major league debut just before the break. He was optioned to Oklahoma City after the game, but is scheduled to stay this time and be Houston's fifth starter.