After a hot start to the season, the Mariners got their first game against a good team, the Houston Astros. Unfortunately, for the M’s starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc had to leave with an injury AND the Astros only really needed three swings. Houston hit three home runs, which scored all 10 of their runs. Seattle just couldn’t do enough to keep it close late. Here’s how it happened…
In the first inning, the M’s didn’t score many runs, but they made Houston starter Wade Miley throw 40 PITCHES! Tim Beckham did make it count in the bottom of the first with an RBI single, 1-0 Mariners.
In the bottom of the second inning, the M’s added to their lead. Domingo Santana hit a two-RBI single to put the M’s up 3-0.
In the next half inning, George Springer blasted a two-run home run to cut Seattle’s lead to one, 3-2 M’s.
Wade LeBlanc had to leave in the fifth inning after he threw a pitch and grabbed towards his right under arm area. Officially, LeBlanc left with a strained left oblique. But Shawn Armstrong, making his season debut, got Tyler White to ground out to end the Astros threat. M’s still lead 3-2.
Well, as happy as the M’s were getting out of that jam, they were likely not pleased with what transpired in the sixth. A double, infield single, strikeout, batter reach on fielder’s choice and then Jose Altuve smacked a Grand Slam out of T-Mobile Park. 6-3 Astros.
The next half inning, Dee Gordon got the party started, reaching on a single. He’d steal second. Then, on the wildest play I’ve ever seen, Mallex Smith swung and missed at strike three. But he never made contact, the ball hit off the home plate umpire and bounded high in the air. Astros catcher, Robinson Chirinos, couldn’t find the ball and Gordon scored ALL the way from second. 6-4 Houston.
On the play above, Smith reached base on the strikeout. He ended up at third base after Brad Peacock tried to pick him off both first and second. With Smith at third, and Domingo Santana at the plate with one out, the M’s found another run. Santana sent a dribbler towards first, and that was the only place for the Astros to get an out. Smith ran quickly to score, and he brought the M’s within one, 6-5.
The Astros kept teasing the Mariner fans in this game. Seattle led 3-0 early, then Houston took a 6-3 lead. The Mariners closed within a run, and then a SECOND Astros Grand Slam hit, this one from Yuli Gurriel. 10-5 Astros.
Down five in the top of the ninth, the M’s wanted to make a comeback. It started well, as catcher Tom Murphy hit his first dinger of the season. 10-6 Astros.
Murphy’s HR gave the Seattle a homer in each of their first 16 games to start the season, which means their MLB record continues to grow.
Unfortunately, the scoring ended with Murphy’s dinger. After Mallex Smith and Domingo Santana reached base, the Astros made a pitching change. Roberto Osuna came in and threw one pitch, which Edwin Encarnacion popped to shallow right field. Astros win 10-6.
Winning Pitcher, Brad Peacock (2-0): 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 1 BB | Losing Pitcher, Shawn Armstrong (0-1): 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 K, 0 BB | Save, Roberto Osuna (5): 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 K, 0 BB (threw one pitch)
Mariners and Astros do it again Saturday, pregame coverage starts at 5 p.m. and first pitch at 6:10 p.m. on our sister station Freedom 970. The final game of the series is a Sunday matinee also on Freedom 970.