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Astros 3, Mariners 2: Great Start To Important Road Trip

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McCullers pitched six strong, and the long ball provides just enough offense.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What Happened

Lance McCullers looked like he had something to prove tonight in the Pacific Northwest.  The rookie came out dealing with a fastball that was touching 98 on multiple occasions.  And he had good reason to be pumped up after witnessing the power display his teammates put on in the top of the first.

With one out, George Springer went opposite field for a home run for a quick lead.  Two batters later Evan Gattis took one out to left field to stake their pitcher to a 2-0 lead.  The M's would get one back in the bottom of the inning, but then McCullers faced the minimum from the second through the fifth innings (with the help of one double play grounder).

In the sixth inning Ketel Marte started the inning with a solo homer to tie the game up, but the Astros came right back in the top of the seventh.  The Astros hottest hitter, Chris Carter, drove a ball deep into the night to retake the lead 3-2.

McCullers came back out in the bottom of the seventh and walked the leadoff batter, and his night was through.  Tony Sipp came in and picked off the runner for a big first out, then struck out Seth Smith and Astro killer Logan Morrison to end the inning.  It was nice to see a TOOTBLAN for someone else for a change...

The Astros threatened in the eighth inning as they loaded the bases with two down, but Jed Lowrie K'd to end the inning.  Sipp came back out for the bottom of the inning and set the M's down in order again.  Houston got a runner to third with one out in the top of the ninth, but couldn't get him home that inning either.

Clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Oliver Perez came in and got Kyle Seager on three pitches.  Luke Gregerson took over and struck out Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano to seal the victory.

Tomorrow night Mike Fiers will face off against Vidal Nuno in the middle game of the series at 9 pm CDT.

Fun Facts

With the Rangers loss the Astros are now only 1.5 games back in the AL West standings.

The Astros had seven hits on the night, but only three mattered...three solo home runs.

Lance McCullers got the win for the first time since being recalled from the minors.

The much maligned bullpen threw three perfect innings tonight.  That's a good feeling!

Tweets of the Night (Chris Carter Edition)

Twitter was alive with Chris Carter love tonight...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">And the Trogdor comes....in the Niiiiiiiiiiiight!</p>&mdash; Turk Behlmann (@DieselDugong) <a href="https://twitter.com/DieselDugong/status/648710883401691136">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I&#39;ve been saying, &quot;Play Carter more&quot; for literally minutes now. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Astros?src=hash">#Astros</a></p>&mdash; Bags4HoF (@Bags4HoF) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bags4HoF/status/648710787138060288">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I WANT TO HUG YOU CHRIS CARTER BUT IT WOULD BREAK ME</p>&mdash; Ulysses S. Cocksman (@USCocksman) <a href="https://twitter.com/USCocksman/status/648710723900575748">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;Why were you at all worried? I got this.&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MrSeptember?src=hash">#MrSeptember</a> <a href="http://t.co/g80UBBoU6Y">pic.twitter.com/g80UBBoU6Y</a></p>&mdash; Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) <a href="https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/648725981159489536">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote>

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