It isn’t easy to overshadow a nine-run inning but a pair of Astros rookies did so Wednesday night in a 13-2 victory over the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
Francis Martes, the American League’s youngest pitcher (21 years 202 days old), earned his first big league win, giving up just one run over five innings in his first start. The organization’s number one prospect also struck out seven including back-to-back K’s to leave the bases loaded and end the fifth, preserving a one-run lead.
“It was emotional,” said manager A.J. Hinch. “He showed a lot of emotion coming off the mound. To hold them to one run in that inning was huge and it really set us up for a nice energy inning in the bottom of the fifth and obviously the big sixth.”
The Astros took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth when Derek Fisher homered into the Crawford Boxes for his first major league hit in game number one after his call-up from Triple-A Fresno. Before the nine-run frame was over, Fisher would also single to drive in another run and score for the second time.
Fisher became the first player to record his first two big league hits in the same inning since Adam LaRoche in 2004.
“I thought that was pretty cool,” Fisher said. “I think it shows a lot about this team. Hitting is contagious so when a team like this goes through a lineup and puts together good at bats, someone like me can learn from that.”
Hinch called Fisher’s debut “remarkable.”
“It is something you can dream of,” Fisher explained. “I can’t say I would expect to have something like that on my first night but definitely glad it happened.
“It is something I will never forget.”
The Astros improved to 7-3 vs the Rangers this season and 45-22 overall after dropping six of eight entering play Wednesday. The club will be off Thursday before hosting the Red Sox this weekend.
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