April 30, 2015
Astros 3, Mariners 2 (10 innings)
W – Gregerson (2-0)
L – Leone (0-2)
In some ways the Astros’ seventh straight win could be called an ugly win, especially when viewed in the context of the blowout wins they’ve pulled off recently. Nevertheless, when you’re 15-7 and starting to make some serious noise about being For Real, there is no such thing as an ugly win.
In stark contrast to several games from their historic road trip, the Astros played from behind early. The M’s loaded the bases in the top of the 1st without getting a batted ball past the infield, scored on a double play, and then added another run on an outfield single. That inning accounted for all of Scott Feldman’s runs and half of his hits; he spread out four more hits and two walks over his remaining six innings. The SeaHags got runners in scoring position the next three innings but never capitalized.
Also in stark contrast to the 10 runs/game average in San Diego, the good guys missed plenty of opportunities to really break the game open throughout the game, hitting a combined 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position through the end of regulation. Evan Gattis provided the only “scoring offense” with RBI groundouts in the 1st and 6th innings, but things could have been much more lopsided as the Astros stranded a runner at third three times.
The bullpen collectively showed up in force, holding the Mariners back by pitching out of some jams in the 8th and 9th. Of particular note was the 9th inning, when Tony Sipp had a runner at third with only one out, thanks in part to a passed ball by Jason Castro (and an unwitting assist from the home plate umpire). Sipp struck out Dustin Ackley and handed the ball to Pat Neshek to induce a weak popup to end the inning.
The winning rally began in the 10th with a 1-out Marwin Gonzalez double down the first base line, barely beating the throw at second. Colby Rasmus pinch-hit and worked a walk, opening the door for Jose Altuve, who already had two knocks on the night, to single off the left field scoreboard for his first career walk-off hit. Altuve finished the night at a scalding .367 and now owns a nine-game hitting streak and an eight-game multi-hit streak.
Friday night’s contest features Sam Deduno (0-0, 2.89) making his first start of the year against Roenis Elias (0-0, 3.18). First pitch is 7:10pm CDT.