Nothing has come easy for the Astros down the stretch. The team has had to fight, scratch, and claw its way out of numerous holes to keep themselves in playoff race.
Wednesday at Safeco was no different, Scott Kazmir continued his backslid into the playoffs allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. The bats didn't' help either, Luis Valbuena and Chris Carter struck out with runners on the corners and one out in the second.
Valbuena redeemed himself with a solo shot in the fifth, cutting the M's lead at the time to 1. Jose Altuve tied the game with a double, scoring Jason Castro. Carlos Correa put his team ahead with a single, scoring Altuve. Momentum was in the Astros favor, that's right about when the bottom falls out lately for Houston.
It did again. Kazmir allowed six-straight Mariners to reach including a Kyle Seager 3-run home run and a back-to-back solo home run to Nelson Cruz.
The Astros lead last a 1/3 of any inning before they were behind 6-3, heading to the sixth. Chris Carter came to the rescue. Carlos Gomez, only bunting at this point with his injury, reached on a bunt up the first base line, and Luis Valbuena followed with a walk. Carter came to the plate with two on, and deposited a pitch into the bullpen area to tie the game.
Evan Gattis would set up the winning run with a triple in the seventh, his 11th triple this season. Colby Rasmus flipped a pitch over shortstop that found a home in the grass in the outfield, scoring pinch-runner Jonathan Villar.
Tony Sipp had a big inning in the seventh. A.J. Hinch went out to talk to his top lefty reliever after he gave up two hits with two out. Hinch left him in, and it paid off with Brad Miller flying out to right to end the inning.
Luke Gregerson ended the game in the nine and opening the inning with a strikeout of Nelson Cruz on three pitches. Robinson Cano followed with a single, but Carlos Gomez made short work of the runner. He caught a fly ball from Franklin Gutierrez that pulled him towards the right center gap, he used his momentum going toward the first base lane and fired to first. The ball arrived just before pinch-runner James Jones could tag back up. Gomez had pulled off a game-ending double play from the outfield. The game was over, Astros win.
They now head to Arizona back in the lead of the second spot in the Wild Card.