Astros outlast the Mariners to sweep the series
WP: Giles (1-3)
LP: Diaz (0-2)
Save: Gregerson (14)
Facing Mariners starter and forgotten Astro Wade LeBlanc, the Astros scored three runs in the first, and one run in both the second and third innings. Carlos Gomez contributed a double and a triple, Carlos Correra added a double, and Evan Gattis swatted a homerun. Leading 5 to 0 going in to the fourth inning, it looked like the Astros were cruising. Then Mike Fiers started throwing meat and couldn’t make it out of the inning before surrendering 4 runs, making the score 5-4.
Chris Devenski took over for Fiers and stemmed the tide shutting down the Mariners over the next 2.2 innings. In the bottom of the 6th inning the Astros pounced on Nathan Karns, Gomez scored from third on a fielders choice by Gattis when Kyle Seager fielded the ball and subsequently threw to the visitors on-deck circle instead of the home plate. J.R Reed scored the second run of the inning on a single by George Springer. The Astros ended the 6th inning leading 7 to 4, once again things were looking comfortable for the Good Guys.
Enter Michael Feliz for the 7th inning, the good news–he struck out three, the bad news–he surrendered three runs and the lead after Seth Smith homered driving in Ketel Marte and Leonys Martin and tying the game at 7-7. Ken Giles took over in the 8th inning and made it out unscathed, he got Pulgasari to ground out to short, and then struck out both Adam Lind and Chris Iannetta.
Facing Edwin Diaz in the bottom of the 8th, Jason Castro led off with his second double of the night and was promptly replaced at second by pinch runner Jake Marisnick. After Springer K’d on a foul tip, Luis Valbuena gave the Astros a 2 run lead when he smashed a homer to the upper deck in RF to make the score 9-7 in favor of the Astros. It was close to a carbon copy of Valbuena’s previous night’s HR.
A.J. Reed decided Will Harris needed the night off and gave the ball in the 9th to former closer Luke Gregerson for a chance at his 14th save of the year. After getting Ketel to ground out, he walked the next two batters and the gave up a run scoring double to Robinson Cano. With the score now 9-8, Gregerson got Nelson Cruz out on strikes for the second out. Kyle Seager owns Gregerson, so Hinch ordered him walked to load the bases for Pulgasari. The big Korean was unable to do any damaged and Gregerson got him out on strikes to end the game and preserve the dramatic win.
With the win coupled with the Rangers loss the Astros are now 6.5 games back from first place in the AL West. Thursday the Astros welcome the Oakland A’s to town for a four game series. Doug Fister will start for the Astros and Rich Hill will be the A’s starter. The game will start at 7:10