Astros take another from the Mariners
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-4 win
With the Astros playing a marathon the day before with their bullpen responsible for 13 innings of work in the victory in the series opener, they looked for a more traditional win on Friday night. Here is a recap of game two of four for this weekend:
Final Score: Astros 7, Mariners 4.
Record: 92-50, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Joe Smith (1-0, 1.40 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Tommy Milone (3-9, 4.98 ERA).
1) Teams trade blows in the first while Valdez goes just four innings
It looked like Houston may be in for a repeat of the night before in the first inning. Framber Valdez struggled to find the zone, walking the bases loaded with one out before a two-RBI single put the Mariners out to a 2-0 lead. Valdez would recover and finish the inning; then, his offense went to work in the bottom half.
Jose Altuve led things off for the Astros by reaching on an infield single and advancing to second on an error. After a walk, Houston would get three-straight RBIs from Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel, giving them a 3-2 advantage.
Valdez was able to get two clean innings in the second and third, but a leadoff single in the top of the fourth would turn into a tying run. With his pitch count rising, he would finish that inning but go no further in the game. His final line: 4 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.
2) Houston adds to their lead
Houston regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a two-out solo home run by Josh Reddick, his second in as many nights. Joe Biagini was first out of Houston's taxed bullpen and was able to retire Seattle in order in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, a one-out single by Alex Bregman turned into another run after he moved along to third on a hit batter and a groundout then took home while Aledmys Diaz was trapped in a rundown between first and second attempting to steal.
Biagini remained in the game for the top of the sixth; however, Seattle met him with a solo home run to start the inning and trim the lead back to one run. He would walk the next batter, resulting in another call to the bullpen to bring in Joe Smith who finished the inning. In the bottom half, Houston added two runs to their lead on an RBI-single by Michael Brantley and another on a passed ball, making it a 7-4 game.
3) Bullpen holds strong to seal the win
Hector Rondon was next out of Houston's bullpen and worked around a two-out hit batter to complete a scoreless inning in the seventh. Will Harris was next for the top of the eighth and he, too, would keep Seattle off the scoreboard.
Roberto Osuna finished things off in the ninth, notching another save and sealing up the victory for Houston. The win moved them to 92-50 on the year, tying them with the Yankees for the best record in the American League.
Up Next: Game three of this four-game set will be Saturday at 6:10 PM. Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.56 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston trying to replicate the success of his no-hitter from his last start, while Yusei Kikuchi (6-9, 5.36 ERA) will start for Seattle.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.