clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mariners Sink Astros 5-1

Another call-up makes a quality start but gets no run support

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I was ready to declare the end of the run of quality rookie pitching performances after the Mariners scored three runs in the first three innings off just-recalled Ronel Blanco. Those two homers just looked too easy. I was ready for Blanco to get bombed the way Cristian Javier has been getting bombed lately.

But no, you can’t blame this loss on the injuries to the Astros’ front-line pitching. Blanco righted himself and gave the Astros their third straight quality start from a rookie pitcher that wasn’t even close to the rotation when the season started.

Blanco allowed three runs on three hits, two walks with nine (yes 9) Ks in six innings. If not for the two gopher balls, the Astros might have had a chance. But then again, Seth Martinez allowed a run in the seventh, and Rafael Montero allowed yet another of his many home runs in the ninth.

No, don’t blame the rookie for this one. The blame lies squarely on the offense. But all good things must come to an end. After all, in the last 12 games, the Astros were second in MLB in wRC+ at 136, with 75 runs and 21 homers. The team was overdue for a dud.

For what it’s worth, two rookies provided whatever offensive spark the Astros could ignite tonight. Yainer Diaz was 2-4 and hit the ball hard in his other two at-bats. And Corey Julks was 3-3 with the team’s only RBI in the seventh. That makes him 9-11 in his last three games.

Trade bait? Or keeper?

Well, at least Boston beat Texas, and Baltimore beat the Yankees.

Game time tomorrow at 7:10 behind Hunter Brown facing Luis Castillo.

Box Score Here.