Houston's bullpen woes continue
Astros' pitching implodes as Mariners complete improbable comeback
After capping off a 5-1 homestand with a three-game sweep of the Rangers, the Astros picked up on the road Monday night in Seattle. After taking a large early lead, it looked like Houston might cruise to the win, but the Mariners had other plans, causing a collapse by Houston's pitching to make the improbable comeback.
Final Score: Mariners 11, Astros 8
Astros' Record: 61-40, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Kendall Graveman (4-0)
Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (1-2)
Astros explode for six in the first
.@KTuck30 with a 3-run home run! 💣#ForTheHpic.twitter.com/PZ8HQLowOs
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 27, 2021
Houston came out firing against Seattle's young starting pitcher, Darren McCaughan, making his first career start and second appearance. It all came with one out, with two reaching base before an RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, an RBI double by Carlos Correa, then back-to-back homers by Kyle Tucker, a three-run blast, and Abraham Toro, a solo homer to make it 6-0 before the Mariners could reach the plate.
Mariners roar back into it against Garcia
That provided Luis Garcia plenty of run support to work with, and through the first three innings, it looked as though the Mariners would have a tough time getting on the board against him. After allowing a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, he induced a double play en route to retiring nine in a row to face the minimum through three frames. After a Martin Maldonado solo homer in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 7-0, Seattle bounced back in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with one out to set up a bases-clearing double to cut the score to 7-3.
Maldonado got one of those back in the top of the fifth, hitting an RBI single, but Garcia's struggles continued in the bottom of the fifth. Seattle put two on base via singles, and with two outs, Kyle Seager would make it a two-run game with a three-run blast to make it 8-6, ending Garcia's day. Bryan Abreu entered and notched the final out of the frame, finalizing Garcia's line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 87 P.
Houston's pitching implodes to hand Mariners the opener
After finishing the fifth for Garcia, Abreu remained in the game for Houston but would see a one-out walk come back to bite him, with the Mariners getting within a run with a two-out RBI single to make it 8-7. That prompted Dusty Baker to move on to Blake Taylor, who would get a strikeout to finish the inning. Taylor continued in the bottom of the seventh and was able to sit down the Mariners in order to retire four in a row to send the game to the eighth.
After trailing 7-0, the @Mariners now lead 11-8! 😮 pic.twitter.com/mWXVZzlgyB
— MLB (@MLB) July 27, 2021
Still holding on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, Houston moved on to Ryne Stanek, but he would put two on while getting two outs before Dusty Baker had to play a lefty matchup to bring in Brooks Raley. Raley would not maintain the lead, issuing a walk to load the bases then giving up a go-ahead grand slam to give Seattle their first lead, three runs at 11-8. The Astros would go scoreless in the top of the ninth, dropping the opener to the Mariners, who completed the comeback.
Up Next: The middle game of this series between the Astros and Mariners will be another late 9:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. Houston will hand the ball to Lance McCullers Jr. (7-2, 3.04 ERA), while Seattle is expected to send Chris Flexen (9-4, 3.35 ERA) to the mound.