EditorsNote: rewords fifth, sixth and last grafs
Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and Guillermo Heredia slugged solo home runs, and the Seattle Mariners claimed the season series over the Houston Astros with a 9-0 victory Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
The Mariners took the rubber match of the three-game and season series by jumping to a 3-0 lead on Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (11-11) in the first inning and never looking back.
Houston won the season series from all four of its American League West rivals last season and needed a win over Seattle to accomplish that feat again. Instead, the Mariners won for the seventh time in nine games in Houston, stalling the Astros’ postseason march.
With the loss and the Tampa Bay Rays’ victory at Texas earlier Wednesday, the Astros’ magic number to secure a postseason berth remained at two. Despite the defeat, the Astros have still won 13 of 17 games in September.
Five of the first six batters Keuchel faced reached base safely in the first inning. Haniger singled, Jean Segura doubled, and Robinson Cano hit an RBI single.
After Nelson Cruz struck out, Ryon Healy walked to load the bases, and Segura scored on a wild pitch. Seager smoked a line drive that ricocheted off Keuchel and into right field, plating Cano with the third run of the frame.
Keuchel recovered and retired 12 consecutive batters before Haniger reached on a one-out walk in the fifth and scored when Cano added a two-out double.
Nelson Cruz plated Cano with a single off the right field wall, extending the lead to 5-0 and capping the scoring off Keuchel.
It marked the third time in seven starts that Keuchel surrendered five earned runs. He worked five innings, allowing six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
When right-hander Brad Peacock entered in relief, Seager greeted him with a 417-foot leadoff blast to right in the sixth, his 22nd home run. Haniger drilled his 26th homer against Dean Deetz leading off the seventh.
The Mariners relied on their bullpen to silence the Astros, with right-hander Matt Festa making his first career start and fifth appearance. Festa pitched one inning. Seattle used seven pitchers total, with right-hander Casey Lawrence (1-0) going three innings for the win.
—Field Level Media