Astros’ Lance McCullers lights out in series win over Seattle


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McCullers hurls five hitless innings

Starting pitcher Lance McCullers (3-1, 2.00 ERA) pitched five hitless innings with four walks and strikeouts in the huge 13-0 series clincher over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams have scored a handful of runs during the opening frame of this three-game set and that didn’t change today. Houston got things going thanks to Colby Rasmus and his two-run RBI single which gave the Astros the 2-0 lead that pushed Chris Carter over to second base.

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Mariners’ third baseman Kyle Seager was charged with a fielding error on a ball that was hit by Jake Marisnick resulting in Carter coming around to score to make it 3-0. The big inning came in the fourth when Rasmus recorded his second RBI hit of the game, pushing Carlos Correa across home plate to make it 6-0.

Shortly after catcher Hank Conger made it 8-0 on an RBI double, third baseman Luis Valbuena launched a two-run shot to right field to give his team a 10 run lead. Valbuena currently has 14 home runs and 26 RBI, bumping his batting average up to .181.

Marwin Gonzalez kept things going by launching his third home run of the season to left field with Charlie Furbush on the mound, extending the lead to 12-0.

Seattle’s starting pitcher, Roenis Elias, lasted only 3 1/3 frames today. Elias (3-4, 3.67 ERA) nearly repeated King Felix’s outing, allowing seven earned runs on as many hits while issuing four walks and recording two strikeouts prior to being pulled from the game.

They were able to record their first hit of the game when Austin Jackson doubled to left field with Tony Sipp on the mound.

Sipp would get Robinson Cano to ground out to Valbuena for the second out of the inning, then would follow that up by striking out Nelson Cruz to limit the damage.

Just when we thought Houston was slowing down, the Astros managed to plate a late run during the home half of the eighth inning to pad their already commanding lead. Valbuena took the third pitch of his at-bat to right field with one out and later scored on an RBI double by Preston Tucker to make it 13-0.

The series win was the first in over a week since the Baltimore Orioles visited Minute Made Park to begin the month. Now they’ll look to keep things going with the Colorado Rockies coming into town for a two-game set in Houston, then another two in Colorado.