By Derek Fogel

Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) – In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Astros finally returned home with hopes of lifting the spirits of Houstonians. After a moment of silence, a salute to first responders, and some heart-felt words by Manager A.J. Hinch, baseball was underway. Undoubtedly an inspired Astros team got the Minute Maid crowd roaring early with 4 runs in the first inning, and  carried on to a 12-8 victory over the Mets in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

“They asked me to say a few words and I happily said yes, obviously. It’s an important time for our community,” Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said. “One step closer to healing the city.”

A big moment in the game emotionally was George Springer’s 2-run home run in the second inning. Crossing home plate he pointed to his Houston Strong patch that the team will wear on their chests the remainder of the season. It was one of the most important home runs of his career.

“I want so badly to do well for these people,” Springer said. “There are thousands of people that don’t have homes, they don’t have belongings, and they’re rallying around us. It’s our job as a sports team here to do anything that we can. The goal is to provide anybody with some sense of relief, some sense of break. You know, I understand that it’s not going to deter the reality, but hopefully it’s a good break.”

Astros starter Charlie Morton earned his 11th win of the season. That is a career most since 2010 when he compiled ten victories. His focus however was also on the victims of Harvey.

“You want the game to lift people up, you want to do right for the city, you want to give something to look forward to and enjoy,” Morton said. “But at the same time the reality is that a lot of people are displaced… And it makes the game, parts of it, kind of trivial. But, at the same time people look to their sports team in their cities in times like this. For me, as much as I can do in terms of baseball, I’m giving everything I have.”


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