WASHINGTON – The Houston Astros set a franchise record by hitting three triples in a five-run first inning, backing starter Bud Norris with a season-high 17 hits on the way to an 11-4 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
Norris pitched six innings for the win and helped himself with a two-run single. Brian Bogusevic and Jason Castro each had three hits for Houston.
The Nationals entered with a major league-leading 1.92 ERA, but they allowed more runs or hits than they had in any of their first 13 games. Washington had won eight of nine.
Houston, which had lost four straight, also set a season high for runs and hit three triples in an inning for the first time in its 51-year history. It was the 13th time the Astros had three triples in a game.
The Astros scored five in the first off Edwin Jackson (1-1). Jose Altuve tripled with one out and scored on a single by J.D. Martinez. Carlos Lee singled and Bogusevic hit a two-run triple. Matt Downs followed with the third triple of the inning and Castro added an RBI single.
Washington managed a run off Norris (1-0) in the second when Wilson Ramos' RBI single scored Adam LaRoche.
The Nationals closed within a run on Ryan Zimmerman's long three-run homer in the third.
Jackson pitched four innings after his rocky first and allowed just one more base hit. In five innings, he gave up five runs and seven hits while striking out five.
In the sixth, the Astros scored five times off Tom Gorzelanny. Norris drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single, Altuve knocked in two more with a double and another scored on an infield hit by Martinez.
Houston added its final run in the seventh on an RBI single by Castro.
Norris allowed four runs and 10 hits. He struck out six and walked two.
NOTES: The Nationals failed in their attempt at the first four-game home sweep since the team came to Washington. ... Houston OF Travis Buck was out with a strained left hamstring. ... Washington SS Ian Desmond did not start for the first time this season. ... The Astros open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. LHP J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.75 ERA) will pitch for Houston against LHP Ted Lilly (1-0, 0.00). ... The Nationals host the Miami Marlins on Friday in the first of a three-game series. LHP Ross Detwiler (1-0, 0.90) will pitch against RHP Carlos Zambrano (0-0, 3.75).