August 4, 2019 / 2:37 AM / 15 days ago

Four Astros pitchers combine to no-hit Mariners

EditorsNote: Adds Mariners no-hitter note at end of lede graf; Added new 4th graf

Aug 3, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros President of Baseball Operations Reid Ryan introduces sixteen former players as they are introduced into the Houston Astros Hall of Fame before the Astros played against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Four Houston Astros pitchers combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night in a 9-0 win in front of the home crowd, the second time the Mariners have been victims of a combined no-hitter this season.

Aaron Sanchez made his debut with the Astros a memorable affair, twirling six innings. Right-handers Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski each worked an inning to complete the no-hitter, the 12th in franchise history. Houston improved to 11-1 against Seattle this season.

“It’s hard to come to a team and feel like you can contribute in a way when they’re already so good,” Sanchez said afterward. “It’s been an unbelievable 48 hours, and for today to end like it did, I’m so happy.”

The Mariners, losers of three straight games, were also no-hit on a combined effort by the Los Angeles Angels on July 12 in a 13-0 loss.

Sanchez (4-14) was winless over his past 17 starts with the Toronto Blue Jays, who shipped him to Houston along with Biagini on Wednesday at the trade deadline. Sanchez did not resemble the pitcher who posted a 7.49 ERA and 1.82 WHIP during that miserable stretch, relying more on his four-seam fastball and less on his sinker to handcuff the Mariners.

Sanchez entered his first start for Houston with a 36.9 percent usage rate for his sinker and 21.3 percent rate with the four-seamer. Against Seattle, 33.7 percent of his 92 pitches were four-seamers, and Sanchez essentially halved his sinker usage, his 18.5 percent rate matching that of his changeup.

After plunking Omar Narvaez with a 2-1 curveball with two outs in the first, Sanchez retired nine consecutive batters before walking Daniel Vogelbach with two outs in the fourth. Sanchez retired the ensuing five batters, issued a one-out walk to Mallex Smith in the sixth, and capped his start by inducing two groundouts to strand Smith, the lone runner to reach scoring position, at third.

“We played clean defense, we threw the ball exceptionally well,” manager AJ Hinch told reporters. “We had a comfortable lead, but yet there was still a little bit of edge to the dugout because we knew what was going on.”

Sanchez walked two and recorded six strikeouts for his first win since April 27 against Oakland.

The Astros were hasty in providing Sanchez with run support, scoring three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first. Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley recorded consecutive doubles off Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (12-9) following a George Springer walk, with Brantley plating Springer with the initial tally. Altuve scored on a run-scoring groundout by Alex Bregman before rookie designated hitter Yordan Alvarez notched his 40th RBI in his 40th game with a single.

Altuve smoked an opposite-field homer, his 18th, leading off the fifth to extend the lead to 4-0. Brantley added a two-run double off the scoreboard in left in the sixth, scoring Martin Maldonado and Altuve.

Altuve, Brantley, Alvarez, Bregman and Carlos Correa posted multi-hit games.

—Field Level Media

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