Houston takes two of three in the series

Astros fall in extras as Mariners avoid series sweep

Yodan Alvarez's third homer in as many games was one of the offensive highlights in Sunday's finale with the Mariners. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

With the series victory already under their belt with wins on Friday and Saturday, the Astros tried to maintain their momentum going in Sunday's finale to complete the sweep and keep their new winning streak going. Although they would lead much of the game, Seattle would force extra innings, where they would eventually pull away to avoid getting swept.

Final Score (11 innings): Mariners 6, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 73-51, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Paul Sewald (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (1-3)

Houston jumps out front early

After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Yordan Alvarez started the scoring on Sunday by leading off the bottom of the second with a solo homer, this third straight game with a home run. Yuli Gurriel followed him with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI double by Taylor Jones to double the new lead to 2-0. The two-run inning proved pivotal, as the score remained put there until late in the game.

Valdez cruises through seven shutout innings

That was the case due to a great outing by Framber Valdez. He erased a single and a walk in the second, a single in the fifth, and a single in the seventh, allowing just those four baserunners in his afternoon on the mound. He dealt with just one runner in scoring position all day, having his way with Seattle in a quality start. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros fall in extras

That left two frames for Houstons' bullpen to account for, and the eighth inning belonged to Kendall Graveman. Seattle challenged him with two outs, getting back-to-back doubles to get on the board. That made it a one-run game at 2-1 before Graveman finished the inning. Ryan Pressly took over in the ninth to try and get the save but was instead met with a leadoff solo homer to tie the game at 2-2, though he would retire the next three batters in order.

That meant if the Astros were to win, it would have to come via a walk-off. Their first chance came in the bottom of the ninth, but they would do nothing with it as they'd go down 1-2-3 to send the game to extra innings. Brooks Raley pitched the top of the tenth, and with some help by a heads-up defensive play by Carlos Correa to throw out the free runner at third on a groundball, was able to keep the game tied.

That put the winning run at second base to start the bottom of the tenth, which would be Lance McCullers Jr., pinch-running for Martin Maldonado, who recorded the final out of the ninth. He moved to third on a leadoff single by Jose Altuve before the Mariners intentionally walked Brantley to load the bases with no outs. The move paid off, as the next three batters would go down on strikeouts to keep the game going another inning.

Ryne Stanek took over out of the bullpen in the top of the eleventh, but before he could record an out allowed a go-ahead single to give Seattle their first lead of the day at 3-2. Things went from bad to worse from there, as he also allowed a three-run homer to extend the Mariners' new lead to 6-2. The Astros would get a run in the eleventh on a one-out RBI single by Jake Meyers, then proceeded to load the bases with one out, bringing the winning run to the plate. They'd once again strand them all, though, with the Mariners holding on to avoid getting swept.

Up Next: Having just played a four-game series against them in Kansas City, the Astros will wrap up the season series against the Royals with a three-game set in Houston starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. In the opener, the pitching matchup is scheduled to be Zack Greinke (11-3, 3.43 ERA) for the Astros going against Daniel Lynch (3-3, 5.12 ERA) for the Royals.

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11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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