SEATTLE – Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel hit grand slams and the Houston Astros limited heavy-hitting Seattle by using two starting pitchers in a 10-6 win over the Mariners on Friday night.
Altuve’s career-best fourth straight game with a home run pushed the Astros’ major league-leading winning streak to seven games.
The combination of starter Wade Miley, a former Mariners pitcher, and Brad Peacock (2-0) helped Houston hold down Seattle’s muscular lineup.
But, Tom Murphy managed to extend the Mariners’ major league record home run streak. Seattle has homered in each of its first 16 games, with a ninth-inning solo shot off reliever Chris Devenski.
The Mariners, who entered the game with a six-game winning streak, appeared to be up to the tricks that have helped them to the major league’s best record three weeks into the season, jumping on Miley early. They forced him to throw 41 pitches in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on Tim Beckham’s RBI single. Domingo Santana’s two-RBI single extended the lead to 3-0 in the second.
From there, though, Miley tightened things up through the fourth inning, when he was pulled for Peacock. The right-hander began the season as a starter, taking two turns through the rotation before being moved to the bullpen during a stretch in which manager AJ Hinch plans to use four starters due to a fortuitous run of days off.
Miley and Peacock combined to pitch 7 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. They held the Mariners hitless for four innings, a stretch of 14 batters with just one baserunner, who reached on a walk. Roberto Osuna earned the save.
Seattle starter Wade LeBlanc threw two bad pitches, giving up a double to Josh Reddick, then a two-run homer to George Springer in the third inning, cutting the lead to 3-2. He steadied himself but injured his right oblique while throwing a pitch in the fifth inning and was replaced with two runners on base.
Mariners reliever Shawn Armstrong (0-1) got out of the jam in the fifth in his first appearance of the season following an injury rehab assignment, stranding both runners. He gave up two weak singles to start the sixth, struck out a batter, then watched as Springer’s sharply hit liner bounced out of leaping second baseman Dee Gordon’s glove to load the bases.
Altuve then hit his sixth home run of the season deep to left field. It was the second grand slam of the second baseman’s career.
Gurriel, filling in for injured third baseman Alex Bregman, added four more runs in the eighth with his left-field shot off Ruben Alaniz in his first major league appearance.
Bregman was able to sprint full speed in workouts before the game, Hinch said, but remained out of the lineup with the sore hamstring he injured Tuesday night against the New York Yankees. Hinch hopes Bregman will return to the lineup during the three-game trip to Seattle.
Armstrong and Alaniz were added to the major league roster for Friday’s game. Seattle optioned RHPs Matt Festa and Erik Swason to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for the two relievers. The Astros, meanwhile, recalled LHP Reymin Guduan from Triple-A Round Rock following Wednesday night’s game and optioned LHP Framber Valdez to make room on the roster.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (1-0, 4.24) has a 12-9 career record against the Mariners, but was beat up in his last appearance against Seattle, giving up six runs and seven hits in two innings last August in Houston.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (1-0, 4.26) returns to the mound after being pulled following one inning Monday at the Kansas City Royals. Hernandez came out of the game with virus-like symptoms after giving up two runs on three hits.
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