Three days after recording his first career save, Jordan Lyles took the mound as a starter on Thursday night and had a solid night. It didn't start well as he allowed a solo home run to the second batter of the game, Nick Franklin. The Mariners' small lefty took the low and away, 3-2 offering the other way and just caught the inner part of the Crawford Boxes to notch a solo blast.
Lyles got through the second and third innings without allowing any runs, but the long ball came back to bite him again in the fourth. Raul Ibanez led off the inning with a single, but then Brandon Barnes robbed Justin Smoak of an extra-base hit by catching Smoak's long fly ball in center field and then stumbling onto Tal's Hill.
The next batter, Franklin Gutierrez, hit one a long way as well, but no Astros outfielder was catching this one. Lyles left a fastball up and Gutierrez hammered it to left, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead.
Lyles settled down again after the fourth and worked two more clean innings, giving him a final line of six innings, four hits, three runs and four strikeouts.
L.J. Hoes got on with single to start the Astros' half of the fourth, which is a good thing to do with Jason Castro batting behind you right now. The hot-hitting Houston one-hopped the left-center field wall, and Hoes got on his horse. The relay was almost on time to get Hoes, but a nice slide by the Houston outfielder combined with a drop of the throw by former Astros (they're everywhere!) catcher Humberto Quintero allowed the Astros to get their first run.
Brett Wallace blasted an Erasmo Ramirez change up that was right down the middle for another no-doubter for Wally. It was his 12'th home run of the year.
But other than that, Ramirez was solid. The righty went 5.2 innings, allowing only the two runs and striking out seven Astros.
The Astros had almost no success against the Seattle bullpen. The Mariners faced the minimum of Astro hitters over the last ten batters, with a Matt Dominguez walk in the ninth being erased by a Wallace double play to end it.
The Mariners have done a pretty smart thing by calling up phenom pitcher Taijuan Walker to face the Astros in his first career start tomorrow night. Houston will counter with Brad Peacock in the second of a four-game series.