EditorsNote: adds new next-to-last graf
Gerrit Cole didn’t have his dominating stuff, but he was more than good enough.
Cole pitched seven innings, allowing just one unearned run on five hits as the Houston Astros pulled away to beat the host Seattle Mariners 7-1 Wednesday night at Safeco Field.
Cole (2-0) struck out five, snapping his record-tying streak of 11-plus strikeouts in each of his first three starts of the season. He shares the mark with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
The score was tied at 1 going into the seventh inning, when Marwin Gonzalez’s two-run single sparked a six-run rally.
The Astros opened the scoring in the second. With two outs, Gonzalez lined the first pitch he saw from Mike Leake (2-1) into left field, and Brian McCann followed with a run-scoring double to left.
The Mariners tied it in the third as Dee Gordon led off with a bunt single and advanced on Cole’s throwing error in a bid to get him at first. Gordon reached third on a groundout by Jean Segura and scored when Robinson Cano slapped a single to center past a drawn-in infield.
Seattle nearly took the lead in the fifth, but left fielder Derek Fisher leaped at the wall to take a home run away from Segura to end the inning.
The score remained tied until the top of the seventh.
Josh Reddick led off with a walk and advanced to third on Yuli Gurriel’s ground-rule double down the left field line. Gonzalez then lined a two-run single to center.
After a visit to the mound by Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., McCann doubled to right to end Leake’s night.
Evan Gattis hit a shallow fly down the right field line off reliever Nick Vincent, with the Mariners’ Mitch Haniger dropping the ball for an error. That allowed Gonzalez to score to make it 4-1.
After Fisher struck out, George Springer doubled to right-center field, scoring two more runs. Springer reached third on an infield single by Jose Altuve and scored on a single to left by Carlos Correa, extending the lead to 7-1 and bringing on reliever James Pazos. The left-hander struck out Reddick and got Gurriel to ground into a forceout to end the inning.
Leake wound up charged with five runs on six hits in six-plus innings.
After losing the opener, the Astros have won the past two nights in the four-game series that concludes Thursday afternoon.
—Field Level Media