Houston’s entrance into the 2022 postseason was surprising, to say the least.
Justin Verlander got the start for the Astros, his 31st playoff turn on the hill (and 32nd appearance overall). He got into a spot of trouble right away, putting runners on the corners with nobody out in the top of the first inning. The Mariners then took a 1-0 lead when Cal Raleigh singled leadoff hitter Julio Rodriguez in with the first run of the day.
In the second inning, Rodriguez hit a two-run double, then Ty France drove Rodriguez home with a single just afterward for a 4-0 advantage. Through the regular season Verlander had only surrendered four or more earned runs on only two occasions.
In the third inning, Yordan Alvarez halved the Mariners lead with a two-run double, scoring Chas McCormick and Jose Altuve. J.P. Crawford got the Mariners another run in the fourth inning with a solo home run to make it 5-2. Ty France added another Seattle run with an RBI-double.
Yuli Gurriel got another Houston run back in the fourth with a solo shot of his own to cut it to 6-3 in favor of Seattle.
Eugenio Suarez homered off Astros reliever Cristian Javier in the seventh inning to push the Mariners lead back to four runs, 7-3. In the eighth, the Astros once again cut the lead in half to 7-5 on a two-run Alex Bregman homer.
Alex Bregman you are cleared for takeoff. pic.twitter.com/90taQNXmLS— Houston Astros (@astros) October 11, 2022
The score remained until two outs in the bottom of the ninth, when Alvarez went deep with a three-run walk-off homer.
- Verlander gave up six runs on 10 hits and a walk, striking out three and leaving the game as the losing pitcher of record.
- Bryan Abreu struck out three over 1 2⁄3 shutout innings, giving up only a hit.
- Hunter Brown pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
- Rafael Montero earned the win by pitching a perfect ninth.
- After one game, Alvarez is the clear front-runner for the series with the walk-off homer and five RBI.
- Gurriel collected three hits as well.
The Astros will be back in action on Thursday night for game two.