April 19, 2018 / 11:09 PM / a month ago

Morton, Altuve help Astros trounce Mariners

Charlie Morton pitched seven scoreless innings as the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners 9-2 on Thursday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Morton (3-0), the Astros’ fifth starter, lowered his ERA in four starts this season to 0.72. He allowed three hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs and Max Stassi and Josh Reddick hit solo home runs for the Astros, who won the final three games of the four-game series.

Seattle has scored just seven runs while losing four of its last five games.

The contest was scoreless until the fifth, when Alex Bregman reached on third baseman Kyle Seager’s two-base fielding error. Marwin Gonzalez lined a single to left, sending Bregman to third. Reddick then hit a fly to shallow center field, and shortstop Jean Segura tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball just eluded his grasp.

Bregman scored on the play, but Gonzalez was thrown out at second by center fielder Dee Gordon. Stassi singled to center, moving Reddick to third, before Jake Marisnick struck out.

With the top of the order coming up, Mariners manager Scott Servais decided to replace starter Marco Gonzales (1-2) with Dan Altavilla. George Springer walked to load the bases, then Altuve hit a 0-1 pitch over the head of right fielder Mitch Haniger to clear the bases and give the Astros a 4-0 lead.

Stassi homered to right field in the seventh and Reddick’s leadoff shot sparked a three-run ninth.

Seattle got its two runs in the eighth, both charged to reliever Tony Sipp, as David Freitas and Segura had RBI doubles.

The Mariners turned a triple play in the fourth inning.

With Altuve and Carlos Correa on base, Evan Gattis hit a one-hopper to Seager near the bag at third base. Seager touched third and threw to Robinson Cano at second for a double play. Because the ball wasn’t hit hard, Cano didn’t attempt a throw to first, even with the slow-footed Gattis chugging down the line. But Gattis apparently thought the inning was over, as he started to jog back to the third-base dugout.

Seager spotted the mental lapse and called to Cano to throw the ball to first baseman Daniel Vogelbach, who tagged out Gattis near the mound for the final out.

Gonzales was the hard-luck loser despite not giving up an earned run. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and one walk and he struck out eight.

—Field Level Media

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