Mariners Game Recap: M’s Rally, but Come Up Short

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May 2, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) celebrates with right fielder George Springer (4) after hitting a home run during the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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The Houston Astros (18-7) completed their 4-game sweep over the Seattle Mariners (10-15) on Sunday afternoon, winning 7-6. With today’s win, the Astros have now won 10 consecutive games. Pat Neshek (2-0, 4.35 ERA) was credited with the win after pitching a perfect 8th inning. Carson Smith (0-1, 0.79 ERA) allowed the the go-ahead home run in the 8th, and picked up his first loss as a big leaguer. Luke Gregerson shut the door in the 9th to earn his 6th save of the season.

The Astros jumped all over M’s starter J.A. Happ this afternoon in Houston. Following a Jose Altuve groundout, Marwin Gonzalez singled to left field. Happ walked George Springer to give the Astros’ runners on first and second with only 1 out. Evan Gattis was a thorn in the Mariners’ side all game, and he gave Houston an early 3-0 lead by connecting on a 3-run home run to left field.

Seattle made a dent into the Astros’ 3-0 lead in the top of the 3rd inning. Dustin Ackley led off the frame with a double to left field. Brad Miller has put together a pretty nice season thus far, and he plated Ackley on a triple down the right field line. Miller’s 3-bagger made it a 3-1 game in the 3rd inning.

Unfortunately, Houston pulled away again in the home half of the 3rd inning. With Evan Gattis on first base, Chris Carter flexed his muscles by hitting a big fly to left field. Carter’s 2-run blast gave the Astros a 5-1 lead after 3 innings.

Happ ran into more trouble in the 4th inning this afternoon. Jason Castro hit a leadoff double to right field, and following a Jonathan Villar pop out, Jose Altuve was intentionally walked. Marwin Gonzalez singled home Castro on a sharp ground ball to right field. Houston led 6-1 after the first 4 innings.

The M’s began chipping away at the ‘Stros 5-run cushion in the top of the 6th inning. Seth Smith clubbed a ball deep to center field that was just out of the reach of Jake Marisnick. The ball careened off the wall in center, and Smith slid head first into third base with a triple. However, the relay throw skipped past Marwin Gonzalez at third base, and ended up in the Mariners’ dugout. Smith was awarded home on the error, and Seattle trailed 6-2 in the 6th.

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The Mariners fought back to tie the game in the top of the 7th today. Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison opened the inning with back-to-back singles to spark the M’s rally. Seags scored on a Mike Zunino double to left field. Rickie Weeks pinch hit for Dustin Ackley, and Lloyd McClendon‘s decision proved to be a wise one. Weeks doubled home LoMo and Zunino on a line drive to center field. Weeks came around to score following a Houston error, and the score was even in the 7th inning.

Houston stormed back one final time in the home half of the 8th inning today. Evan Gattis is a powerful man, and he gave the Astros a 7-6 lead after hitting a leadoff home run. Gattis’ homer was a laser beam that just squeaked over the wall in left field.

Seattle was unable to close the gap, and Houston won 7-6. The Astros were the better team all weekend, and deserved to sweep the Mariners. The full box score from today’s finale can be found here.

Next: J.A. Happ Allows 6 ER in 6 IP