Mariners 5, Astros 2: Peacock, Houston undone by rocky sixth

Jose Altuve strikes out in the first inning on Wednesday. - Bob Levey

Kike homers for the first time and Marwin goes deep again, but the Astros cannot overcome a rough inning.

A four-run sixth inning spelled doom for Brad Peacock and the Astros on Wednesday afternoon, as the Seattle Mariners finished off a three-game sweep at Minute Maid Park. The game brings the 'Stros record to 36-50.

Houston began the contest well enough. In the third inning, Marwin Gonzalez blasted his second homer in as many games, a solo shot down the right field line. He would finish the day 2-3, his second knock coming on a two-out, eighth-inning single.

In the fifth, fresh call-up Enrique Hernandez provided some fireworks of his own. Facing Seattle starter Chris Young, "Kike" smashed the team's second solo blast, his first homer as a major-leaguer, into left field. The dinger gave Hernandez an RBI in each of his first two games in the bigs.

Unfortunately, Gonzalez and Hernandez accounted for all of Houston's hits on Wednesday. Though he surrendered two homers, Young pitched in a groove for most of the afternoon. He completed seven innings while striking out eight batters, a feat that says less about the 35-year-old's skill than the Astros' feast-or-famine offense. Coming into the game, Young boasted a paltry 4.63 strikeouts per nine innings.

As for Peacock, he held the M's scoreless through five frames before running into trouble. After striking out Endy Chavez to lead off the sixth, Peacock pitched his way into this sequence: single, hit-by-pitch, walk, wild pitch (run), double (two runs), single (run). The RBI hits--courtesy of Logan Morrison and John Buck, respectively--brought the score to 4-2.

Peacock was promptly relieved by Anthony Bass, who returned from the disabled list to pitch in his first game since May 10th. Bass completed the sixth without surrendering another run. However, he would give up one in the seventh, an RBI single by Kyle Seager.

With both teams calling upon their best relievers, the game's final few innings breezed by. Tony Sipp and Chad Qualls each worked an inning for Houston. For Seattle, Danny Farquhar, Yoervis Medina, and Fernando Rodney made quick work of the Astros' lineup, combining for two scoreless frames to end it.

Looking to turn the page on three tough losses, Houston will now head to Anaheim to begin a four-game set against the Angels, with the first contest starting tomorrow at 9:10 Central. Brett Oberholtzer, who in his last start threw 6.1 innings of one-run ball against Detroit, will face Matt Shoemaker.

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Notes

--In the three-game series, Houston was outscored 28-8. It was out-hit 39-20.

--With his homer on Wednesday, Gonzalez has now hit four of his nine career round-trippers against Seattle.

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