Coming into this game, Astros starting pitcher Wade Miley knew he was facing a lineup of hitters that has thus far simply smashed every pitching staff it has faced. I mean, for the 16 games they have played, Ruth, Gehrig, Williams, Cobb kind of smashing, smack in the face.
Here is the lineup he faced.
Mallex Smith...........104 wRC+
Domingo Santana....182 wRC+
Tim Beckham...........207 wRC+
Ryon Healy................137 wRC+
Dee Gordon..............136 wRC+
This team leads the league in runs.... by far. They lead the league in home runs. They have hit at least one in 16 straight games. The team wRC+ at 156 is at least 20 points higher than the legendary 1927 Yankees, and 30 points higher than the current Astros.
Astros starter Wade Miley could not stop them. No one else has either. But he contained them, managing to allow only three runs in his four innings pitched.
And that was enough, because the Astros bats were the ones making the loudest noises tonight.
Down 3-0, George Springer started the Astros fireworks in the third with a two run line drive home run at 112 MPH to left center, scoring Jake Marisnick, who doubled in front of Springer.
But the Astros were just getting started. In the sixth inning Robinson Chirinos opened with a double, followed by a Baltimore chop single to third by Josh Reddick that did not advance the runner. With one out, George Springer hit a line drive single off the glove of second baseman Dee Gordon that loaded the bases.
And then came Jose Altuve. The Little Giant crushed his fifth home run in four games and sixth of the season into left center to give the Astros their first lead, 6-3.
Pitcher Brad Peacock replaced Miley in the fifth , and the box score records that he allowed two runs, one earned, in 3.1 innings. This is not fair to Peacock, who was throwing darts. But the Mariners indeed scored two very strange runs off Peacock in the seventh, even though he only gave up one single and no walks.
Dee Gordon led off the inning with a single and then stole second. The next batter struck out on a high swinging strike which hit the umpire unimpeded. While everyone was watching the umpire writhe in pain, Dee Gordon scored from second, and batter Mallex Smith went to first. Smith then stole second, and then took third on an errant pick off attempt by Peacock. Smith scored on a ground out by slugging former Astro Domingo Santana.
Peacock had seven K’s, and threw 30 strikes out of 45 pitches, 7 of those strikes of the swing and miss variety. He was the winning pitcher. Shawn Armstrong took the loss for the Mariners.
With the game again close at 6-5, the Astros lightning struck again in the eighth. With two outs Jose Altuve singled, followed by Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa walks. Yuli Gurriel then crunched his first homer of the season to left center, another grand slam, to finish the Astros’ scoring and win it for the Astros 10-6.
The Mariners scored their sixth run in the ninth inning on a Tom Murphy home run off Chris Devenski. Devenski pitched 1.1 innings, allowing two hits with two K’s. Roberto Osuna saved the game by getting the last out on a one pitch fly out.
The Mariners bats were good again tonight; six runs on nine hits. But the Astros’ were better, getting ten runs on 16 hits. That’s 18 runs in the last two games. Both without Alex Bregman.
Tomorrow Justin Verlander meets Felix Hernandez at 8:10 CDT.
Box score and videos HERE.