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Astros 7, Mariners 5: Valbuena's Two Homers Help Win Third Straight

Even though the starting pitching was shaky, the bats come alive to save the day.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

On a night where the starting pitching was not sharp, the Astros bats came alive to pull out their third win in a row in their first game against the Mariners this season.  Asher Wojceichowski looked to build on the success of his last outing, but his game looked more like his first start against Cleveland than his great relief performance against Oakland last week.  In fact, it almost looked exactly like his first start (4 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB).  The only difference in his line today was he struck out 6, which was a positive.  There were times where he showed really good stuff, but for the most part the M's hit him pretty hard.  Out of the 8 hits he allowed, 5 were doubles.  He did a pretty good job of limiting the damage in the first and third innings, when he stranded runners at 2nd and 3rd in both innings.

It was a back and forth game tonight.  The Astros opened the scoring in the first inning when Luis Valbuena, batting in the 2nd spot today, hit a home run to right center to take a 1-0 lead.  After Seattle tied it up in the 2nd, Valbuena collected his 2nd RBI of the night, plating Jake Marisnick with a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead.  The M's tied it again, but in the top of the 5th Houston took the lead back on Colby Rasmus' second homer of the year.  The fifth inning is where Wojo ran into trouble and couldn't bail himself out.  He and Joe Thatcher combined to give up 3 runs to fall behind 5-3.  But the offense came right back in the top of the 6th.  George Springer started with a 1-out double, followed by Evan Gattis hitting what was originally ruled a double down the left field line to send Springer home.  Gattis came home on a single to right field by Jed Lowrie to tie the game at 5-5.

The Astros took the lead for good in the top of the eighth on Valbuena's second home run of the game.  They added another run when Gattis doubled, then Jonathan Villar pinch ran for him and scored on Lowrie's second RBI single of the night.

The bullpen did it's job and held the Mariners scoreless from the 6th inning on.  Luke Gregerson earned his third save of the year by setting down the heart of the Seattle lineup to preserve the 7-5 win.

The Astros will continue their defense of first place tomorrow night in the Pacific Northwest, as The Doctor, Collin McHugh will face off against youngster Taijuan Walker.  First pitch will be way past my bedtime, again.

Fun Facts

Even with the players we expected to hit the long ball (Springer, Gattis, Carter) are not hitting many, this was the third 3-homer game this season.  They have won all three.

Luis Valbuena leads the team with 5 homers.

Valbuena also has the first multi-homer game by an Astro this season.

Gattis almost had 2 doubles tonight, but the first one was changed to an error on the 3rd baseman.

Tweet Of The Night

Yeah that made me giggle a little bit...