Houston takes two of three in the series

Astros fall in extras as Mariners avoid series sweep

Astros' Yordan Alvarez
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

Yodan Alvarez's third homer in as many games was one of the offensive highlights in Sunday's finale with the Mariners.

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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Twins defeat Astros, 9-3. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images.

Jose Miranda matched a major league record with hits in 12 straight plate appearances and Byron Buxton and Brooks Lee homered leading the Minnesota Twins to a 9-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Miranda, playing third base, entered the game with the team-record of hits in 10 straight at-bats. The 26-year-old singled in his first two official at-bats Saturday and tied the MLB record set by the Chicago Cubs’ Johnny Kling (1902) and matched by Boston’s Pinky Higgins (1938) and Detroit’s Walt Dropo (1952). His streak ended in the sixth inning on a routine flyout to left field.

Willi Castro added three hits for Minnesota, which raced to a five-run lead in the first two innings and led 7-1 after three.

Jon Singleton hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who lost for just the third time in 16 games.

Joe Ryan (6-5) allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, earning the win after three straight no-decisions.

The Twins jumped all over Hunter Brown (6-6), who had been one of the hottest pitchers in the majors. Over his previous five starts, he allowed just one earned run and struck out 34 in 31 innings pitched.

Brown did manage to complete six innings for the ninth straight outing, but gave up seven runs on a season-high 12 hits.

Every Twins starter had at least one hit by the fourth inning. Castro singled in the first, doubled in the second and singled in the third.

Lee's two-run homer in the third inning was the first of his career. The Twins' No. 2 prospect was called up on Wednesday and has seven hits in his first four games.

Buxton hit a two-run shot in the seventh to give the Twins some breathing room after Houston had the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (left wrist contusion) was out of the lineup a day after he was hit on the wrist by a pitch. X-rays were negative on Friday and he’s still considered day-to-day. … OF Yordon Alvarez was hit by a pitch on his right knee in the sixth inning. He remained in the game, but was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

UP NEXT

The series wraps up on Sunday with RHP Spencer Arrighetti (4-7, 6.13 ERA) of the Astros facing RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (3-1, 3.52) of the Twins. Arrighetti lasted just four innings in his last start, giving up six earned runs while waking four against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Woods Richardson has given up at least three earned runs in four of his last six starts.

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