“This is the kind of game we’re looking for to create some momentum and build some confidence and start a winning streak,” Houston star Jose Altuve said.
Kikuchi (7-8) allowed three hits but was done in by an error behind him and four walks, which equaled a season high, over 1 2/3 innings in his shortest start this year. He gave up six runs, four earned.
“That one got away from us very quickly," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Not what we were looking for, obviously. Yusei was not on top of his game or anywhere near it."
The victory ended a two-game skid for the AL West leaders and snapped Seattle’s five-game winning streak.
Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. (11-4) permitted four hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in six innings for his third consecutive win. His 11 wins are a career best.
“For me it’s about just giving us a good chance to win ... and working toward that AL West title," McCullers said.
Kikuchi faced Houston for the third time in four starts and for the sixth time this season. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Astros in his last start but did not factor in the decision in a 4-0 win last Tuesday.
Things haven’t gone nearly as well for him in Houston this year, and Monday was his second straight tough start at Minute Maid Park after he tied a career high by permitting seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on Aug. 20.
This time, he walked Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker to load the bases with no outs in the second. Aledmys Díaz reached on a fielder’s choice as an error by second baseman Abraham Toro allowed two runs to score.
Two pitches later, Meyers sent a changeup from Kikuchi to left field for a three-run homer that extended the lead to 5-0.
“Today he couldn’t find the plate ... and we took advantage of it," Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
Altuve doubled with one out and Yordan Alvarez’s RBI double with two outs made it 6-0 and chased Kikuchi.
“I would term it as non-competitive misses," Servais said. “Based on his last outing, I certainly didn’t expect to see what we saw tonight. Coming into the game there was no idea that it would be a lack of stuff."
Toro, traded from Houston in July, drove in two runs on a double in the third to cut the deficit to 6-2.
Meyers added an RBI single in a two-run fifth to push the margin to 8-2.
Kyle Tucker hit a two-run double as the Astros tacked on three more in the sixth.
Bielak allowed one hit and four walks in three scoreless innings.
Astros: Baker said RHP Zack Greinke (health and safety protocols) could return to the ballpark and throw a bullpen this weekend. Baker isn’t sure when Greinke will return to the rotation. ... RHP Andre Scrubb (right shoulder strain) struck out two and walked one in one inning during his second rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Sugar Land. ... RHP Pedro Báez (right shoulder soreness) has started throwing on flat ground.
INF Marwin Gonzalez came in as a defensive replacement to start the eighth inning in his first appearance for Houston this season after being selected to the roster Sunday. Gonzalez spent his first seven major league seasons with the Astros, helping them to a World Series title in 2017, before signing with Minnesota in 2018. He received a loud ovation when he came to the plate in the eighth inning.
Gonzalez started the season with the Red Sox, but was released Aug. 16.
Houston Astros' Framber Valdez gets starting nod for World Series Game 1, will be opposed by Atlanta Braves' Charlie Morton
After tossing a gem at Fenway Park in the ALCS, Houston left-hander Framber Valdez will start Game 1 of the World Series for the Astros on Tuesday, opposed by Atlanta Braves right-hander Charlie Morton.
Braves vs Astros: A World Series 6 decades in the making
— Freddie Freeman swinging onto baseball’s biggest stage for the first time, Jose Altuve & Co. back for more. Luis Garcia, Framber Valdez and a fresh set of Houston arms facing Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and these eager, young Atlanta bats.
Taylor: I don't thinking about hitting HRs, they happen by accident
Chris Taylor downplays the three home runs he hit in the Dodgers' 11-2 win over the Braves.
Sportsbooks install Houston Astros as World Series favorites over Atlanta Braves
Sportsbooks have installed the Astros as World Series favorites over the Braves. Houston opened as a -150 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, but the price quickly ticked down to -145, with Atlanta listed at +125.
2021 MLB playoffs: NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario helps send Braves to first World Series since 1999
Rosario was a fourth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and has basically flown under the radar ever since. He was named NLCS MVP after the Braves defeated the heavily favored Dodgers to advance into their first World Series since 1999.
2021 MLB playoffs: How the Atlanta Braves stunned baseball to reach the World Series
Atlanta began the playoffs with just a 17% chance to win the pennant. Then something magical happened.