The Mariners had a 14-game winning streak going. Unfortunately for them, though, they ran into the almighty Astros. On Friday night, a series of good factors come together for Houston to grab a 5-2 win at T-Mobile Park and made it 3-0 since the All-Star Game.
First, there were home runs. José Altuve hit his eighth leadoff home run of the season and 29th of his career –third-most in Astros history—, this time against starter Marco Gonzales on the third pitch of the game. Altuve went 3-for-5 for the first time since July 3 and also had his first multi-hit contest since the cited day.
In the fourth, Yordan Álvarez belted his 28th long ball of the campaign, a 414-foot rocket over the center-field fence. This was Álvarez’s 10th homer in his last 19 games (since June 21).
Also against Gonzales, Martín Maldonado hit a solo shot of his own in the fifth to make it 3-0, his 10th round-tripper of the year for the Astros catcher. In that inning, Yordan logged a sacrifice fly to leave things 4-0.
Second, there was good pitching. José Urquidy improved his record to 9-4 with six strong innings and his seventh consecutive quality start. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed only four hits and one earned run, which came via a Ty France solo jack in the sixth. Urquidy walked two and struck out three.
Urquidy threw 105 pitches (70 strikes), setting a new season-high for him. He found composure after three awful outings against Seattle so far in 2022, in which he surrendered 27 hits and 15 earned runs over 13 innings.
And third, there was a beautiful, amazing catch – a jumping, game-saving grab by shortstop Jeremy Peña. With bases loaded, just one out, and Ryne Stanek pitching, Kyle Lewis hit a line drive with bad intentions, but Peña took advantage of his height, jumped, and got the second out of the inning. Five pitches after that, Stanek struck out Cal Raleigh to end the Mariners’ threat.
With a scoreless ninth, Héctor Neris was credited with his first save as an Astro to bring the opponent streak to an end. This way, the Astros began their six-game road trip with a W. Both teams will collide again on Saturday afternoon. Justin Verlander will try to keep his momentum going against Logan Gilbert. Verlander carries a 0.67 ERA in his last 27 innings (four starts).