The Astros, with their new-look bullpen, appeared to be cruising towards a sweep of the visiting Mariners, winning 4-2 going into the seventh.
Well, not quite.
From inning seven on, it was all Mariners, who outscored the Astros down the stretch 6-1.
The Mariners actually took an early lead, scoring two in the first against Astros starter Jose Urquidy. Of course, it was former Astro Abraham Toro who did the damage with a two-run double.
Urquidy only lasted three innings, followed by Cristian Javier, who went scoreless for the next 2.1 innings.
But the Astros answered with three in the bottom of the second with a Kyle Tucker double that scored Yordan Alvarez, followed by a...feels like old times...a Marwin Gonzalez two-run dinger.
HE'S BACK.#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/4cz2A5UQHi— Houston Astros (@astros) September 8, 2021
The Astros added insurance with a Jose Altuve, just barely, Crawford Boxes solo homer in the fifth.
Back in his groove.#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/1JggCYGfwT— Houston Astros (@astros) September 8, 2021
In the seventh, the Astros’ revamped bullpen began its epic meltdown. It started with a Ty France double off Yimi Garcia followed by a - man I’m tired of writing this - Toro single. Phil Maton was brought in to face Jarred Kelenic, whose two-run single tied the score.
The Mariners made this a lopsided victory with four runs in the ninth.
It started with one-out when Luis Torrens singled off the Astros’ shutdown closer Ryan Pressly. Jarred Kelenic then walked on four pitches, the runners advancing to second and third on a wild pitch. Jose Marmolejos sealed the game with a two-out single against the shift where the shortstop normally plays.
And then J.P. Crawford iced the Mariners’ win with a two-run homer off Blake Taylor.
It was only Pressly’s third blown save all year, and he was charged with three of the four runs scored by the Mariners in the ninth.
Alex Bregman led off the ninth with a pinch-hit homer, his second ninth-inning homer in two games, both off Paul Sewald, but it was too little, too late.
The Astros have Thursday off and face the Angels Friday, 7:10 PM. Framber Valdez will take the mound for the Stros.