Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Giancarlo Stanton drove in three runs to help the Miami Marlins defeat the Houston Astros, 7-3, in the second game of three at Minute Maid Park on Saturday.
Jordany Valdespin hit a two-run homer and Christian Yelich finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Marlins, who have won three straight and six of their last seven. Valdespin's home run was his first of the season.
Tom Koehler (7-7) earned the win after giving up three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts over five innings. The bullpen combined for four scoreless innings of relief.
"I walked that tightrope the whole day ... the bullpen did a great job," Koehler said.
Jose Altuve had three hits and a run scored and Jason Castro supplied a two- run homer for Houston, which lost its fourth straight game.
"We had some opportunities and were not able to get the big hit," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "That was the difference in the ball game."
Starter Jarred Cosart (9-7) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks across 5 2/3 frames.
Yelich took a leadoff walk in the first and moved to third on consecutive groundouts from Valdespin and Stanton. Casey McGehee's grounder up the middle plated Yelich for the early lead.
Castro responded in the home half by crushing a 2-0 fastball into the right- field seats for a two-run homer and a Houston lead.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked to open the second, Donovan Solano doubled two batters later and Adeiny Hechavarria took a free pass to load the bases. Yelich's base hit through the hole in left scored Saltalamacchia. After Valdespin struck out, Stanton extended Miami's lead to 5-2 with a two-run double up the middle.
Houston had a chance to rally in the third after back-to-back singles from Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez placed runners on the corners with no outs. Both runners were left stranded after Chris Carter lined out and Koehler fanned Castro and Matt Dominguez to end the frame.
In the fifth, Altuve and Gonzalez both singled before Carter plated Altuve with a liner to center, making it a 5-3 game.
Valdespin added two more runs for the Marlins with a blast to left off Chad Qualls with one out in the ninth.
Altuve became the fourth player in franchise history to record 45 or more multi-hit games in three straight seasons ... Altuve extended his hitting streak to eight games ... The Marlins have won three straight and five of their last six games against the Astros ... Houston went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.