Houston Astros start off strong, fall late in Seattle
By David Miniel
Gattis, Valbuena go deep in loss
The Houston Astros received home run’s from both Evan Gattis and Luis Valbuena during the top of the second inning but were unable to hold onto the lead, falling 6-3 to the Seattle Mariners.
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Gattis led off the inning with his 13th bomb of the season with Colby Ramus and Chris Carter looking to add onto the early lead. Both men would eventually fall to strikeouts leaving it up to their third baseman, Luis Valbuena. Valbuena, who is still under .200, clubbed his 17th of the season as he continues to eclipse his career-highs.
Houston’s two-run lead was matched during the home half of the second with two bases-loaded walks by starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel (8-3, 3.35 ERA) allowed Seattle to plate five earned runs on as many hits while issuing three walks, seven strikeouts but gave up three huge home runs in the loss.
Outfielder Nelson Cruz gave Seattle the 3-2 lead with a solo home run to left-center field after drawing a walk in his previous at-bat. Designated hitter Seth Smith extended the Mariners lead to two runs with Keuchel on the mound, sending a pitch to center field.
Mark Trumbo was responsible for the third and final home run given up by Keuchel. Trumbo worked a six-pitch at-bat and pulled the trigger on a 79 miles per hour change-up.
Manager A.J. Hinch was also ejected in the sixth inning for the first time this season following an instant-replay challenge which confirmed fan interference. Shortly after Hinch’s departure, Marwin Gonzalez cut the lead down to two on an RBI single to left field, allowing Rasmus to come around and score, making it 5-3.
Seattle’s starter, Taijuan Walker exited the game after 6 1/3 frames but was able to pick up the win. Walker (5-6, 4.94 ERA) surrendered three earned runs on five hits including two home runs while striking out a whopping 11 Astros.
Relievers Fernando Rodney, Mark Lowe, and Charlie Furbush were credited with holds and Carson Smith picked up the save.