Astros crush Mariners with barrage of homers

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 10-2 win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 10-2 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After wrapping up another series win in Cleveland on Thursday night, the Astros were back at home to start a fresh three-game set with the Mariners. Here is a recap of game one against Seattle:

Final Score: Astros 10, Mariners 2.

Record: 71-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (10-4, 3.05 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (4-8, 5.49 ERA).

1) Houston puts on a home run parade

Yordan Alvarez was the first to put Houston on the board, crushing a ball to straightaway center to lead off the bottom of the second inning. The 427-foot bomb made it a 1-0 game, but later in the inning, Jake Marisnick extended the lead to 3-0 with a two-run home run of his own.

The home runs didn't stop there; Martin Maldonado made his return to Minute Maid Park memorable with a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead to 4-0. Then, after a two-out triple by George Springer later in the inning, Jose Altuve capitalized with a two-run shot to the Crawford Boxes to make it a 6-0 Houston advantage.

Even after Seattle went to their bullpen in the bottom of the fifth inning, they couldn't avoid Houston's momentum. After Alvarez worked a one-out walk in the inning, Carlos Correa joined in on the home run parade with a two-run blast before Aledmys Diaz made it back-to-back jacks, extending the lead further to 9-0. That made it a season-high six home runs in the game for Houston.

2) Miley gets win number 10 

Meanwhile, Wade Miley was quietly stringing together another solid start on the mound. He allowed a few walks in the early innings but did not allow a hit until the top of the fifth. He would keep the Mariners scoreless until the sixth when he would give up a one-out two-run home run to trim the lead to 9-2.

He went on to finish that inning, but after giving up five walks on the night saw his pitch count prevent him from going further in the game. Still, with the run support, he was able to get his tenth win of the season. Miley's final pitching line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.

3) Bullpen sends things home

Collin McHugh was the first reliever to come out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Miley to pitch the seventh. He worked around back-to-back two-out walks to get through the scoreless inning.

He stayed on the mound for the eighth, another scoreless inning during which allowed just a walk. In the bottom of the inning, the Astros tacked on one more insurance run with an RBI-groundout from Jose Altuve to make it 10-2.

Jose Smith came in with the eight-run lead to close things out in the ninth, and did so, giving Houston a win in the series opener.

Up Next: Game two of this series will start tomorrow at 6:10 PM. The Astros will send newly acquired Aaron Sanchez (3-14, 6.07 ERA) to the mound to try and turn the page on his rough season so far and start fresh with his new team. He will be going up against Marco Gonzalez (12-8, 4.21 ERA) for Seattle. Houston can secure another series win with a victory.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Will robot umps improve baseball? Composite Getty Images.

Major League Baseball could test robot umpires as part of a challenge system in spring training next year, which could lead to regular-season use in 2026.

MLB has been experimenting with the automated ball-strike system in the minor leagues since 2019 but is still working on the shape of the strike zone.

“I said at the owners meeting it is not likely that we would bring ABS to the big leagues without a spring training test. OK, so if it’s ’24 that leaves me ’25 as the year to do your spring training test if we can get these issues resolved, which would make ’26 a viable possibility,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday during a meeting with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. "But is that going to be the year? I’m not going to be flat-footed on that issue.

“We have made material progress. I think that the technology is good to a 100th of an inch. The technology in terms of the path of the ball is pluperfect.”

Triple-A ballparks have used ABS this year for the second straight season, but there is little desire to call the strike zone as the cube defined in the rule book and MLB has experimented with modifications during minor league testing.

The ABS currently calls strikes solely based on where the ball crosses the midpoint of the plate, 8.5 inches from the front and the back. The top of the strike zone was increased to 53.5% of batter height this year from 51%, and the bottom remained at 27%.

"We do have technical issues surrounding the definition of the strike zone that still need to be worked out,” Manfred said.

After splitting having the robot alone for the first three games of each series and a human with a challenge system in the final three during the first 2 1/2 months of the Triple-A season, MLB on June 25 switched to an all-challenge system in which a human umpire makes nearly all decisions.

Each team currently has three challenges in the Pacific Coast League and two in the International League. A team retains its challenge if successful, similar to the regulations for big league teams with video reviews.

“The challenge system is more likely or more supported, if you will, than the straight ABS system,” players' association head Tony Clark said earlier Tuesday at a separate session with the BBWAA. "There are those that have no interest in it at all. There are those that have concerns even with the challenge system as to how the strike zone itself is going to be considered, what that looks like, how consistent it is going to be, what happens in a world where Wi-Fi goes down in the ballpark or the tech acts up on any given night.

“We’re seeing those issues, albeit in minor league ballparks," Clark added. "We do not want to end up in a world where in a major league ballpark we end up with more questions than answers as to the integrity of that night’s game or the calls associated with it.”

Playing rules changes go before an 11-member competition committee that includes four players, an umpire and six team representatives. Ahead of the 2023 season, the committee adopted a pitch clock and restrictions on defensive shifts without support from players.

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