Houston's big seventh inning dooms Mariners, 7-1
SEATTLE (AP) — Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and the Houston Astros scored six runs in the seventh to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-1 on Wednesday night.
Cole (2-0) struck out five, ending a string of double-digit strikeout games at three. He gave up just an unearned run.
The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in their biggest-scoring inning of the season off Mariners starter Mike Leake and relievers Nick Vincent and James Pazos.
The first five Houston batters reached against Leake (2-1), starting with Josh Reddick's leadoff walk. After Yuli Gurriel hit a double in the left-field corner, Marwin Gonzalez followed by lining Leake's first pitch to center field for a two-run single that gave the Astros a 3-1 lead.
Brian McCann doubled to deep right center, and Houston grabbed a 4-1 lead on a fielding error by right fielder Mitch Haniger, who got a late jump on Evan Gattis' shallow fly ball.
Two batters later, George Springer hit a two-run double off Vincent that caromed off the right-center wall, and Houston had a 6-1 lead.
The Astros grabbed an early 1-0 lead on McCann's RBI double to left field in the second inning, scoring Gonzalez.
Seattle tied it 1-1 in the third on Robinson Cano's run-scoring single to center field.
IN AND OUT OF LINEUP
Astros: Third baseman Alex Bregman (three hits in past 21 at-bats) and outfielder Jake Marisnick (10 strikeouts in past 13 hitless at-bats) were out of the starting lineup Wednesday. Manager A.J. Hinch said he will get more of his regulars days off in the coming weeks.
Mariners: To make room for outfielder Ben Gamel (strained right oblique) on Wednesday, LHP Ariel Miranda was sent to Triple-A Tacoma. Gamel batted seventh in his first game back, and will get the most time against right-handed pitching, manager Scott Servais said.
When Seattle needs a fifth starter Sunday in Texas, is will be RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who will make his season debut.
Astros: McCann (right hand) felt a little sore the day after being hit on the knuckles by a Wade LeBlanc pitch Tuesday night, but was back behind the plate Wednesday, batting seventh.
Mariners: Catcher Mike Zunino (oblique) made his final rehab appearance Wednesday at Single-A Modesto. He is expected to join the big club Friday in Texas. . First baseman Ryon Healy (sprained ankle) is finishing up a running program, and is expected to go out on rehab assignment after the Mariners go on the road Friday.
Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (2-0, 1.00 ERA) has logged six innings in each of his first three starts, all at home. This is his first road start of 2018. He pitched last April at Safeco Field (five innings pitched, three earns runs), taking a loss. In fact, he went 1-2 in four starts against Seattle last season.
Mariners: After winning his first start in San Francisco on April 3, LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1, 8.25 ERA) has not gotten past the fourth inning in either one of his past two starts.