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Corporan has four hits, four RBIs; Astros romp over Yankees

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Associated Press
4/29/2013 10:33:47 PM
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NEW YORK -- Most of the Houston Astros stood at the top of the dugout steps and applauded Carlos Corporan's two-run double in the first inning. Lucas Harrell slapped his glove with gusto after his infielders turned double plays. Music thumped in the upbeat visiting clubhouse after a satisfying victory.

These young Astros are trying to make a name for themselves, and they're having a great time.

Corporan homered among his four hits and drove in four runs, Brandon Barnes had three hits and three RBIs, and the Astros fit comfortably into the role of a slugging American League squad Monday night with a 9-1 romp over the New York Yankees.

"I know they can do it," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You're just waiting for it to happen night in and night out and be consistent. That's why we stay positive, because we know it's in there."

In their first game in the Bronx as an AL team, the Astros peppered Andy Pettitte for 10 hits and seven runs, both season highs for the left-hander. Barnes and Corporan had two-run doubles and Barnes added an RBI single and a double. Barnes and Corporan each set career highs for hits and RBIs.

Houston bounced back from a four-game sweep in Boston with an enthusiastic win over the Yankees, who had just taken four straight from Toronto.

The Astros had 17 hits in improving the AL's worst record to 8-18 and scored their first five runs with two outs.

Lucas Harrell (3-2) kept New York grounded. The Yankees did not hit the ball in the air against the sinkerballer until Brett Gardner blooped a single into left field with one out in the sixth -- eliciting a mock cheer from those that remained from the announced crowd of 34,262 on a dank night. Harrell got 14 groundball outs, and he induced three double plays in the first four innings.

In 6 1-3 innings, the right-hander gave up eight hits, hit a batter and walked one. He struck out four and had one flyout. Harrell has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his six starts.

"I wanted to show, 'Hey, the Astros, we could play with anybody,"' Harrell said.

The youngest roster in the majors, checking in with an average age of 27 years, 224 days, beat the oldest in baseball at 31 years, 155 days, according to STATS, for just the second time in 10 matchups all-time. In their only other win, six Astros combined on a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2003.

Pitching against the only other team he has ever played for and working with rookie catcher Austin Romine for the first time, Pettitte (3-2) looked uncomfortable throughout. He frequently adjusted his uniform, at times pitched from the stretch with no one on base and even once had to wave several times to get Romine's attention when he wanted a new baseball.

"He hasn't been back there, and I felt like maybe I didn't get into the rhythm I wanted to," Pettitte said of Romine.

Pettitte got two quick outs to start the game but then gave up three straight hits, including an RBI single to Carlos Pena, then a walk and a two-run double by Corporan.

"Those are the hits that have been eluding us lately," Porter said.

Barnes hit his two-out, two-run double in the fourth to make it 5-0. The Astros chased Pettitte, who briskly walked off the field, after Ronny Cedeno doubled to put runners on second and third with one out.

Adam Warren came on and threw a wild pitch to score a run. Then when Corporan connected for his first of the year four pitches later, a two-run shot that right fielder Brennan Boesch barely moved on, a fan in a nearly silent Yankee Stadium shouted "mercy rule," eliciting laughter. Barnes drove in one more in the fifth with a single to make it 9-0.

Pettitte yielded his most hits since Sept. 24, 2010, against Boston. It's also the most runs since the Red Sox scored seven in that game.

"I've seen Andy since 1996, and I don't know if I've ever seen him not have his slider," manager Joe Girardi said. "That has been a signature pitch for him for a long time, and it just didn't have the bite today that we're used to seeing and that's kind of strange."

Vernon Wells had an RBI single on a sharp grounder to right field off Harrell in the sixth.

Corporan came up limping in the seventh trying to go from first to third on Jose Altuve's single, but he stayed in the game and said it was just a cramp.

With a chance for a fifth hit in the ninth he grounded to shortstop but reached on Eduardo Nunez's error.

"If I got a base hit in my last at-bat I'd just keep running," Corporan said of needing a triple to reach the cycle.

NOTES: Yankees INF Kevin Youkilis (back) sat for the eighth time in nine games. An MRI performed Monday came back negative and he will have an epidural. ... The Yankees grounded into a season-high four double plays. ... Astros RHP Brad Peacock (1-3) is being taken out of the starting rotation. Peacock gave up five runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings against the Red Sox on Saturday. Porter said he wants to put Peacock in a position to be successful. He also expects Peacock to return to the rotation. Porter did not announce a starter for Thursday against Detroit. ... Houston reliever Josh Fields, out since April 8 with a right forearm strain, should be ready for a rehabilitation assignment soon.

Carlos Corporan (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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