HOUSTON (AP) Tuesday was a night filled with homers and milestones for the Houston Astros.
Mauricio Dubón, Kyle Tucker, Martín Maldonado and Chas McCormick each hit solo homers to back up a solid start by rookie Hunter Brown and lead the Astros to a 6-1 win over the Washington Nationals.
And then there were the milestones. José Abreu had two hits to give him 1,501 career hits, making him the 21st active player to reach 1,500 hits and the 12th Cuban-born player to do it.
Maldonado’s homer extended Houston’s lead to 3-0 in the seventh and was the 100th of his career. José Altuve walked with one out in that inning and scored the 1,000th run of his career on a single by Abreu with two outs.
Abreu is in his 10th MLB season after spending 10 years playing professionally in Cuba.
“It just means that I’ve played a lot of baseball,” Abreu said in Spanish through a translator. “And I can’t forget about all those people that were by my side throughout that long time and obviously being able to do it here I think it was even more special.”
Altuve is the fourth player in franchise history to score at least 1,000 runs, joining Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio and fellow Killer B Lance Berkman.
“It means a lot,” Altuve said. “It’s a big number for me and I’m really happy and proud. Obviously I have to thank a lot of guys for driving me in. Abreu was tonight and I already thanked him. I want to thank Yordan (Alvarez) because probably 500 are from Yordan.”
Brown (6-3) scattered four hits across seven scoreless innings after losing two in a row.
Dubón put the Astros up 1-0 when he knocked a changeup from Patrick Corbin (4-7) into the seats in left field with no outs in the fifth. There was one out in the inning when Tucker then hit his ninth home run this season to right field to make it 2-0.
It was Washington’s first visit to Houston since the Nationals won their only championship by beating the Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. Corbin was also on the mound in that game, pitching three scoreless innings of relief to get the win.
Tuesday, he struggled with command, walking a season-high five while allowing four hits and two runs in five innings.
“These guys can hit, and on occasion when you make a mistake they’ll hit the ball a long way,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
The Astros started this nine-game homestand on a high note, giving them a much-needed boost after going 2-5 on a road trip, which ended Sunday.
“We haven't established homefield dominance like we usually do and which we're trying to get to,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “So we're just trying to win one day at a time.”
The Nationals had a runner on second with two outs in the seventh when Jake Meyers crashed into the center field wall after making a leaping catch on a fly ball hit by Dominic Smith to end Brown’s night. Brown pounded his hand into his glove and yelled, “Let’s go” after watching Meyers make the nifty grab.
Lane Thomas doubled with two outs in the eighth and scored on a single by Luis Garcia to cut the lead to 4-1.
McCormick’s homer came with no outs in the bottom of the inning and Altuve added an RBI single with two outs to push the lead to 6-1.
Abreu collected his 1,500th career hit on a double on a line drive to right-center field to start Houston’s second. The Astros announced the milestone at the end of the inning and put a graphic with his picture and the number on the big screen as he tipped his cap to the crowd.
Similar graphics and announcements were made for Maldonado's and Altuve’s milestones at the end of the seventh inning.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Rainey threw a 25-pitch bullpen session this weekend as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Astros: SS Jeremy Peña missed a second straight game Tuesday with an unspecified illness. Baker said he was feeling better Tuesday and could return Wednesday.
Washington DH Joey Meneses went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to end a career-long 18-game on-base streak, which was the longest active streak in the majors.
Houston LHP Framber Valdez (6-5, 2.36 ERA) opposes RHP Josiah Gray (4-5, 3.00) when the series continues Wednesday night.
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