Beltran's luck changing with big game vs. M's

Beltran's luck changing with big game vs. M's

HOUSTON -- Perhaps Carlos Beltran's luck is changing. Leading off the second inning, Houston's designated hitter singled off the first-base bag.

The first of Beltran's three hits on Saturday ignited a four-run frame that led to an 8-6 win over Seattle, giving the Astros wins in the first two games of the three-game series.

During Houston's previous road trip, Beltran batted .182. On Friday against the Mariners, he went 1-for-4 with a double.

"He's put some good swings on the ball recently and not gotten the hits," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Maybe his luck turned when he hit the ball off the bag. A sure sign things are turning for him. And he added a couple more base hits."

Beltran, who drove in two runs and scored once, added an RBI single in the fifth inning and an RBI double in the seventh. The extra-base hit not only gave the Astros some cushion, with a 7-1 lead, it was his 1,078th career extra-base hit, tying him with Cal Ripken Jr. for 24th-most in Major League history.

"We were able to score early," Beltran said. "When you're capable of scoring early with [Dallas Keuchel] pitching on the mound, your chances of winning the ballgame are high."

At the time, Beltran's double didn't seem significant, given the Astros' lead, but the Mariners made it interesting, scoring four runs in the top of the eighth to get within two runs and put the potential go-ahead run at the plate.

"They made a push in the eighth," the switch-hitting Beltran said. "They scored a few runs to make it tight."

In Houston's four-run second off Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (5-6), Beltran scored from second base on a double down the left-field line by Derek Fisher for the game's first run.

Fisher's RBI double

It was Beltran's 1,580th run scored, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby for the 52nd-most all-time.

"Left-handed, he's a real threat and tough to pitch to," Hinch said. "And his presence in the lineup is important."

Richard Dean is a contributor to based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.