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Altuve Return Sinks Mariners, 5-2

Three hits and a quality start by Jose Urquidy get Astros back on winning track.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Altuve must have been catching up on his German philosophy during his COVID quarantine. As Friedrich Nietzche famously said: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Leading off for the Astros in the first inning coming off IL, Altuve got his first of three singles. Two of the three were over 108 MPH. He had two RBI, a run scored, and even a stolen base. (and a caught stealing at third)

But Jose wasn’t alone in the hit parade. Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also had three hits each, and Michael Brantley two.

With 14 hits, the Astros should have scored more than five runs, but two ground into double plays and a caught stealing by the Astros kept the game fairly close.

In the meantime, Astros starter Jose Urquidy was steady, if not overpowering, holding the Mariners to two runs in his six complete innings. It’s one of the few quality starts by an Astros pitcher this year not named Zack Greinke.

Among the five hits Urquidy allowed were two solo homers, one to Kyle Lewis in the third inning, and another to Kyle Seager in the sixth.

Astros started the scoring in the second when Yordan Alvarez doubled home Altuve. Alvarez then scored with an impressive sprint from second on a Yuli Gurriel single.

The Astros added two more in the fourth when Altuve singled home Carlos Correa and Myles Straw.

Altuve’s single in the sixth was a shot off the high wall in left field that would have normally been a double in most parks.

In the fifth inning, Kyle Tucker added his 14th RBI with a sac fly that scored Alex Bregman, who led off with a single.

The Astros bullpen followed Urquidy by shutting down the Mariners from the seventh through ninth innings, with Bryan Abreu and Ryne Stanek getting holds, and Ryan Pressly with the save. Abreu was particularly strong, throwing a perfect inning with two strikeouts and 12 strikes out of 16 pitches.

The Astros take on the Mariners in the second game of the four-game series tomorrow at 7:10 CDT. Cristian Javier takes the mound at MMP.

Box score and videos HERE.