- Associated Press - Sunday, May 25, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - George Springer hit the first pitch he saw in three days for a home run.

The Houston rookie right fielder wasn’t done, hitting another later in the game to help power the Astros past the Seattle Mariners 9-4 on Saturday night.

“That’s pretty impressive, to sit out a couple games then the first pitch you see, you take it out the opposite way,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “That’s definitely good to see.”

Springer injured his right hip flexor on a ninth-inning pickoff play Wednesday in Anaheim. He then sat out the first two games of this series, both Seattle victories. But after Jose Altuve walked to open the game, Springer hit a 90-mph fastball from Brandon Maurer (1-3) into the right-field seats.

He also connected on a 1-1 cutter from Maurer for another two-run homer in the Astros’ five-run sixth. He added an RBI in the sixth for a career-high five, in his 33rd big league game.

Oberholtzer (1-6), recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game, allowed two runs in the first, and then settled in, retiring 10 straight during one stretch. He finished with three runs allowed - two earned - with one walk and a career-high eight strikeouts.

“He did a great job of attacking the strike zone,” Porter said. “He did a good job pitching in. When he pitched his first stint here, he had gotten away from his effectiveness, on the inner-third of the plate. He got that back today and really attacked both sides.”

In his only other start against Seattle on Sept. 1 last season, Oberholtzer threw a complete-game shutout, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out five. He is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings against Seattle.

“I felt I pitched good,” Oberholtzer said. “Before the game, I told myself, whatever happens, happens. Throw strikes and have fun. It’s been a while since I’ve had fun.”

Maurer went 4 1-3 innings for the Mariners, allowing six runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two.

The Mariners rallied for two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Stefen Romero walked, then Robinson Cano singled to right. Cano has reached base safely in 31 consecutive games, hitting .372 with 11 extra-base hits and 20 RBI during the streak. It is the longest streak of his career, and longest active in the majors.

Justin Smoak followed with a single, loading the bases for Kyle Seager, who bounced a potential double-play grounder to first. But first baseman Marc Krauss threw wildly to second, allowing Romero and Cano to score.

After Springer’s first homer, Maurer then retired the next 11 straight, nine on flyballs. But the Astros rocked him in the fifth.

Chris Carter opened with a double to left and Alex Presley singled to right, with Carter holding at third. Jonathan Villar bounced a grounder to Cano, who tried to start 4-6-3 double play but bobbled the ball and settled for a Presley tagout as Carter scored.

Altuve singled to right and Villar, running on the pitch, scored from first to make it 4-2. Springer followed with his sixth home run on a 1-1 fastball from Maurer into the left-field bullpen.

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