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But the Astros were knotted in a 1-1 tie and had yet to manage a hit until Maybin — claimed off waivers from the Angels last week — launched a two-run homer off rookie reliever Emilio Pagan with one out in the top of the seventh.
Mariners starter Ariel Miranda didn’t allow a hit, but walked six and needed a season-high 112 pitches to get through six innings, turning a 1-1 tie over to his bullpen. Pagan was the second reliever used in the seventh, after James Pazos issued a one-out walk.
Miranda walked the bases loaded in the third before allowing a sacrifice fly to Alex Bregman, which stood as Houston’s lone run until Maybin connected with his eighth homer of the year and second in five games for the Astros.
The win kept Houston three games ahead of the Indians for the AL’s best record at 85-53, with Cleveland winning its 13th straight game earlier in the day at the White Sox.
Seattle fell to 69-70, though still just 2 1/2 back of the Twins for the AL’s second Wild Card spot after Minnesota lost at Tampa Bay. Robinson Cano went 3-for-4 for the Mariners, who have now lost 10 of 15 games to Houston this year.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Escape act: Verlander wiggled out of a big jam — and escaped serious injury — in an eventful sixth inning when Cano lined a 103.5-mph shot that caught the Astros’ new ace in the right arm and rolled over to the third-base line. That infield single was followed by a base hit by Nelson Cruz. But Verlander got Kyle Seager to ground into a 3-6-1 double play, then dug deep to blow down Mitch Haniger, freezing the rookie with a 99-mph fastball for strike three on his hardest-thrown — and final — pitch of the night.
Seager shot: The Mariners’ lone run off Verlander came courtesy of Seager’s 21st home run of the season, a high-arcing shot to right field.in the fourth. Seager is now 8-for-22 with three home runs against Verlander in his career. The Mariners’ left-handed hitters — Cano, Seager, Yonder Alonso and Ben Gamel — combined to go 5-for-10 against Verlander, while Seattle’s right-handers were 1-for-13 with the lone hit the single by Cruz in the sixth.
Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3, 3.92 ERA) comes off the disabled list to pitch for the first time since July 30 in Wednesday’s 9:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Mariners. McCullers, the AL Pitcher of the Month for May, went 0-2 with a 8.63 ERA in his last five starts before going on the DL with back discomfort.
Mariners: September callup Andrew Moore (1-3, 6.34 ERA) moves back into the rotation for the first time since July 26 and his first appearance since an Aug. 11 relief outing. This will be the rookie right-hander’s first time facing Houston.
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This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Houston News & Search