While the pitching staff tries to find its footing amid a string of injuries, including a right forearm strain that will sideline ace Justin Verlander for a few weeks, the Astros will have to rely more on their potent offense early in the season.
The Astros, who last year set a Major League record with a .495 slugging percentage and finished with the best run differential in the big leagues, provided a reminder how dangerous they can be offensively in taking three of four games against Mariners, capped with an 8-5 win Monday night at Minute Maid Park.
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve slugged their first homers of the season for the Astros, who scored 29 runs in four games against the Mariners. Next up is a long-awaited rematch with the Dodgers, who make their first visit to Houston since the 2017 World Series.
Josh James struggled in his first start by allowing three runs and five walks in three innings as the Astros fell behind, 3-0, before Bregman’s three-run homer in the fourth — the 100th home run of his career — put the Astros ahead, 4-3. -BrianMcTaggert-