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Astros 4, Mariners 6: Bullpen falters in Seattle

Astros three game winning streak comes to an end, as they fall behind Angels for second wildcard.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Three teams came into the night within two games of the AL West lead:

  • The Rangers sitting in first came in on a three game slide with the divisional lead down to 1.5, but grabbed a tightly contested win over the Tigers 7-6...
  • The Astros came in with a three game winning streak looking to hold off the Twins and Angels in a tightening wild card race and possibly pick up a game on the division leading Rangers, but ultimately lost 6-4 and fell behind the Angels for the second wildcard.
  • The Angels, one of the hottest teams in baseball, came in on a six game winning streak. With a strong 8-1 win over the A’s the Angels were able to push the streak to seven and their September record to 18-8.

Here is what happened in the Astros’ game:

Top of the first – Following back to back singles by Jose Altuve and George Springer to open the game, Carlos Correa stepped to the plate and drove in a run on a groundball to short. Unfortunately, the Astros could only get one across in the inning.

Bottom of the first – The Mariners answered immediately scoring two in the bottom of the frame to grab the lead. Ketel Marte led off with an infield single, followed quickly by a Kyle Seager double. Both men would score thanks to consecutive sacrifice flies by Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano.

Top of the fifth – Marwin Gonzalez evened the score at two with a solo home run to left field. The Astros didn’t stop there, as Hank Conger followed with a ground rule double down the line to right and came around to score on a Springer double to the gap.

Top of the sixth – The Astros added to their lead, as Jonathan Villar doubled to center scoring Evan Gattis. Gattis was able to show off his triples speed scoring from first.

Bottom of the sixth – Seattle battled back once again plating two in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at four. Both runs came on a two run bomb off the bat of Cano. The homer chased starting pitcher Mike Fiers from the game with a final line of 5 2/3 innings pitched with four earned runs on one walk and seven strikeouts.

Bottom of the eighth – The Mariners loaded the bases on thanks to a Seth Smith single given up by Oliver Perez followed by a single and a walk given up by Pat Neshek. With two outs and the bases loaded, Neshek just needed one out to get out of the jam. Sean O’Malley had another idea though, singling to center to give the Mariners the 6-4 lead.

Top of the ninth – With their backs against the wall, the Astros came to bat in need of at least two runs. Luis Valbuena opened up the inning with a single through the left side to give the Astros a much needed base runner. Colby Rasmus came in as a pinch hitter looking for a pitch to hit, but came up empty striking out for the first out of the inning. Altuve followed with a broken bat grounder back to the mound, but was able to beat out the attempted double play and keep hope alive. Sadly, Springer would quickly fall behind in the count and ultimately fly out to shallow right.