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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The Astros have assigned left-handed reliever Matt Gage to minor league camp, which means Houston's pitching staff is likely to head into the season without a lefty in the bullpen.

Ronel Blanco and Seth Martinez are expected to be the last two pitchers in the Astros bullpen now that Gage isn't expected to fill a spot on the club. With the Astros playing so many games in the month of April, could we see Blanco or Martinez making some starts with Lance McCullers still on the shelf?

Plus, should the Astros check in on Yuli Gurriel for some depth considering his versatility and the loss of Jose Altuve for the first couple months of the season? Gurriel still hasn't been added to the Marlins 40-man roster, which means he can opt out of his deal on Saturday if nothing changes.

Based on how things played out for Carlos Correa, the guys aren't very confident the Astros would change their stance on Yuli. But you never know.

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