SEATTLE – Robinson Chirinos homered to cap a three-run first inning, Houston added an insurance run on a baffling play by Seattle’s defense, and the Astros beat the Mariners 4-2 on Monday night for their sixth win in seven games.
Chirinos’ eighth home run capped a first inning in which Seattle’s decision to use Cory Gearrin as an opener backfired. Gearrin (0-2) gave up an RBI triple to Josh Reddick, a run scoring groundout to Yuli Gurriel and Chirinos’ long homer to cap his one inning of work before handing off to Wade LeBlanc.
Houston tacked on another run in the sixth when Seattle’s defensive problems resurfaced. With runners at the corners and one out, Gurriel hit a grounder to shortstop Dylan Moore. Alex Bregman broke from third to try and score and Moore threw to the plate, but catcher Omar Narvaez had taken several steps up the first base line believing Moore was going to try and turn a double play. The throw was on target and beat Bregman easily, but instead it was a fielders’ choice and the fourth run for Houston.
Seattle got solo home runs from Mallex Smith and Edwin Encarnacion in the third inning, but the Mariners were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position, leaving runners at either second or third base in each of the first five innings. Jake Marisnick saved a run in the eighth with a diving catch of Dylan Moore’s liner to end the inning.
Houston starter Corbin Martin was pulled after just three innings, but relievers Framber Valez (2-2) and Chris Devenski worked five scoreless innings. Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his third save.
LeBlanc threw eight innings, allowing one run and three hits over the final eight innings after replacing Gearrin.
Seattle placed RHP Chasen Bradford on the 10-day injured list with a forearm strain and recalled RHP Matt Festa from Triple-A Tacoma.
Astros: Houston manager A.J. Hinch said 2B Jose Altuve, OF George Springer and IF Aledmys Diaz all went through an extensive running program before Monday’s game. Altuve and Diaz also did some fielding drills. Hinch was pleased with the progress all three are making and said the club will get a better assessment of their recovery.
Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford (ankle) did fielding drills before Monday’s game and continues to progress faster than expected from his sprained ankle. Manager Scott Servais said there is a chance Crawford could rejoin the team on the next road trip.