Jose Altuve is back

Altuve returns, Astros start series against Mariners with a win

Jose Altuve's return sparked a big night for Houston's lineup. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After a get-right 3-1 series against the Angels over the weekend, the Astros continued the eight-game homestand on Monday by kicking off a four-game set against the Mariners. Houston hoped to fare better at home against them after dropping two of three in Seattle the last time they met earlier this month. The game also marked the return of Jose Altuve, who would play a big part in Houston starting the series with a win to move back to .500 on the year:

Final Score: Astros 5, Mariners 2

Astros' Record: 11-11, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (1-2)

Losing Pitcher: Justus Sheffield (1-2)

Jose Altuve makes a loud return to the lineup

Jose Altuve, making his return to the lineup after missing time due to COVID protocol, made his presence felt in the leadoff spot by getting on base in Houston's first at-bat in the bottom of the first. He would come around to score the first run of the game on an RBI double by Yordan Alvarez, who would also score on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel, putting the Astros out to the early 2-0 lead.

Altuve would play a part in another scoring play in the bottom of the fourth, getting a two-out two-RBI single to make it a 4-1 game at the time. They scored again in the bottom of the fifth, with Alex Bregman reaching on an infield single and moving along to third to set up a sac fly by Kyle Tucker, extending the lead to four runs at 5-1.

Urquidy goes six while giving up two runs

The one run for the Mariners through those first five innings was a solo home run by Kyle Lewis off of Jose Urquidy in the top of the third. Urquidy was otherwise avoiding damage until a leadoff solo homer by Kyle Seager in the top of the sixth, making it a three-run game at 5-2. Urquidy would go on to finish that inning, but touching the high 90s in pitch count would not go any further. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 96 P.

Houston starts the series with a win

With Urquidy's night done, the first arm out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu, who would toss a 1-2-3 seventh with two strikeouts. Ryne Stanek was next, erasing a one-out single and two-out walk to keep it a three-run game. With it still 5-2 going to the top of the ninth, the Astros would bring in closer Ryan Pressly, who would finish things off to start the series with a win, Houston's fourth in their last five games, putting them back at an even record.

Up Next: This series rolls on Tuesday night with another 7:10 PM start. Marco Gonzales (1-2, 6.04 ERA) will be on the mound for Seattle, while Cristian Javier (2-0, 1.32 ERA) will stay in the rotation for another start for Houston.

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This week on Stone Cold 'Stros:The WBC is not making fans in the US after some key impactful injuries (Jose Altuve). Weighing Astros options for second base and the leadoff spot. Does Dana Brown lob Yuli Gurriel a call? Jeremy Pena credits another Astros with his postseason success.

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