Houston is back up to second in the division

Astros mount a late comeback over Mariners to secure series win

Houston's offense helped bail Zack Greinke out on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Having gone 5-1 in this homestand so far, the Astros tried to secure this series against the Mariners and keep moving up the AL West standings with a win on Wednesday night. Things looked bleak for Houston after a rough outing from Greinke, but his offense would get him off the hook and mount a late rally to win the game.

Final Score: Astros 7, Mariners 5

Astros' Record: 13-11, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Joe Smith (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Rafael Montero (2-1)

Greinke has a rough night on the mound

Houston's offense would provide Zack Greinke an early lead to work with, getting two runs on the board in the bottom of the second on RBI singles by Chaz McCormick and Myles Straw. Seattle would quickly erase that, though, and send Greinke to an early exit.

First, they cut the lead to one run with a solo home run to lead off the top of the third. They then got after Greinke in the top of the fourth, working back-to-back two-out walks before a two-RBI double and single-RBI double to grab a 4-2 lead. That would also be Greinke's last inning, ending his disappointing night early: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 85 P.

Houston gets a huge eighth inning to pull out the win

Brandon Bielak would enter in relief to try and chew up at least a few innings. He, too, was met with Seattle's momentum, giving up a two-out solo home run in the top of the fifth to make it a three-run game at 5-2, but would continue on to finish three innings of work.

Houston would get one run back in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to a two-out double by Yuli Gurriel to set up an RBI single by Carlos Correa, making it 5-3. Joe Smith would take over for Bielak in the top of the eighth, tossing a scoreless frame to keep it a two-run game. Houston would get a rally going with one out in the bottom of the inning; getting back-to-back singles before an error would bring in a run to make it 5-4, then an RBI single by pinch-hitting Aledmys Diaz to tie the game.

They went on to load the bases, still with one out, setting up another pinch-hitter, Jason Castro, to bring in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk. Jose Altuve added an insurance run with a sac fly, extending the new lead to 7-5 before the inning was over.

Ryne Stanek would come in for the save opportunity in the top of the ninth. He would convert it, retiring the Mariners in order to lock up the win and give Houston the series victory with a chance for the four-game sweep on Thursday. It also improved their record to 13-11, putting them ahead of the Mariners for second place in the division behind the Oakland A's.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series and homestand will be an afternoon game, starting at 1:10 PM Central on Thursday. Luis Garcia (0-2, 3.00 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Astros, while Yusei Kikuchi will be on the mound for the Mariners.

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Kyle Tucker had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, with one team or the other putting on a solid offensive performance in each, the Astros tried to win their fourth series in their last five by taking the rubber game on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Thanks in part to a big day from Kyle Tucker, who played a significant role in the early offense they used to power to the win, they would accomplish their mission.

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 18-16, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Nate Pearson (0-1)

Kyle Tucker helps lead the offense to seven unanswered runs

Houston did not go easy on Nate Pearson in his 2021 debut. After a scoreless first, the Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then brought the first run of the day home on an RBI walk by Michael Brantley. Another walk opened the door in the bottom of the third, and Kyle Tucker capitalized with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, followed by an RBI single by Robel Garcia to make it a three-run lead, ending Pearson's day one out into the bottom of the third.

Things didn't get easier for Toronto's pitching in the next inning, as Jose Altuve would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer. A single and a walk then set up another big hit for Kyle Tucker, a three-run dinger to make it seven unanswered runs and giving Tucker four RBI on the day.

Blue Jays pound Greinke in the fifth

After four shutout innings to start his day on the mound, working around a few hits along the way, Zack Greinke tried to cash in on his team's offense to get another win on his record. He wouldn't be able to get it done, though, as Toronto would get after him in the top of the fifth. They would score four times amongst five batters that came to the plate, with a solo homer by Rowdy Tellez, a two-RBI double by Bo Bichette, and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

That made it a 7-4 game, and with Greinke still not having recorded an out in the frame, Dusty Baker would lift him at 88 pitches in favor of Bryan Abreu, who would get a pop out and a double play to end the inning and keep the lead at three runs. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Houston takes the series

No more runs would come on either side the rest of the way, with Kent Emanuel working around a single for a scoreless sixth, Ryne Stanek getting a 1-2-3 seventh, and Andre Scrubb doing the same in the eighth to set up Ryan Pressly for the save. Pressly would get the job done, sending the Blue Jays down in order, including two strikeouts to wrap up the win and giving Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will stay at home to continue this homestand, welcoming in the Angels for three games starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature a pitching matchup of Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA) for Houston.

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