Mariners 10, Astros 3
(Houston, TX) Years of frustration came out of the Seattle Mariners on Saturday. After so many years of falling short against the Houston Astros, the M’s had a chance to win the season series with the Astros for the first time since 2018. To do so, they would have to beat Houston ace Framber Valdez. It turned out to be a frustrating night for Valdez as Seattle’s offense exploded for double figures as everyone in the lineup got involved in the 10-3 Mariner route.
Offense consistently came consistently for the Mariners all through this game. In the top of the 1st, Julio Rodriguez did exactly what he’s been doing this week and that is hit. A leadoff single by J-Rod turned into a double as he stole second for his 33rd stolen base of the season. Eugenio Suarez didn’t wait long to get the Mariners on the board. A base hit to center field allowed Julio to score from second and give Seattle the immediate 1-0 lead.
Two out magic was the major theme of this one for the Mariners and that theme took form in the top of the 2nd. With nobody on a two outs, Jose Caballero shot a base hit into center field for a seemingly harmless single. Cade Marlowe made sure that it would not be a harmless hit after all. In Marlowe’s first series in this rivalry, the rookie gave a sinker up in the zone a ride to deep right center. Centerfielder Jake Meyers couldn’t flag it down as the ball bounced up against the wall. With two outs, Caballero was going on contact and scored easily as Marlowe reached third for his second triple of his rookie campaign as the Mariners lead increased to 2-0.
After Logan Gilbert pitched out of a bit of trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, he turned it back over to the offense who put up their first crooked number in the top of the 3rd. Again, with the bases empty and two outs, the Seattle rally started. A single for Ty France brought Teoscar Hernandez to the plate and Teo worked a 3-0 count. Hernandez drove a sinker out to left center. Mauricio Dubón attempted to make what would have been a tremendous catch, but couldn’t bring it in as he rolled on his wrist in what looked like could be a nasty injury. A bobble by Meyers in center was enough to allow Ty France to score from first on Teo’s 24th double of the season to make it 3-0. Cal Raleigh kept the party going as he followed with a base hit to left to score Hernandez and made it 4-0 Mariners.
Seattle would then have to deal with some negatives. First, they left the bases loaded in the top of the 3rd. Then, they lost the shutout in the home half of the 3rd. Alex Bregman took advantage of a misplaced splitter by Logan Gilbert and showcased some of his power. Bregman watched his 20th home run of the season leave the yard as the Astros were on the board, down 4-1.
Seattle would be held scoreless for the first time in an inning in the top of the 4th while Houston took advantage of the Crawford Boxed in left field again in the bottom of the 4th. This time it would be Yainer Diaz chasing a slider up above the zone the still getting enough of it. The home run by Diaz was much further than Bregman’s but it continued to bring Houston back into the game with the score 4-2.
The bats began to really spark in the top of the 5th as tempers also began to flare in this rivalry showdown. A leadoff single for Ty France was followed by a Teoscar Hernandez strikeout and a Cal Raleigh fly out for the first two outs. The biggest contributor at the plate for the Mariners was a guy that has hurt the Astros many times in recent years. Dylan Moore ordered himself a little oppo taco in this one as Moore drove a flyball to deep right center. Moore got enough of it for a two-run shot and his sixth home run of the season to extend the Mariner lead to 6-2 to get Gilbert a little more breathing room.
The very next pitch from Framber Valdez stirred things up between the two teams. Valdez hit Jose Caballero who did not like the timing of being hit right after the home run. Benches cleared as Caballero and Valdez jawed at each other but nothing got too crazy. The umpires issued warnings to both sides to attempt to deescalate the situation. Of course Caballero was at the center of another benches clearing issue between these teams back in May but everyone was able to keep their composure once again.
After Seattle was able to ruin a historic moment for the Astros when Cade Marlowe threw out Jose Altuve after Altuve tried to extend his 2,000th career hit to a double, Julio Rodriguez was able to make his own history. In the top of the 8th following a Sam Haggerty leadoff single, Julio became just the second player in MLB history to record four consecutive 4+ hit games with a base hit to left. J-Rod also broke the record also set by Milt Stock in 1925 for the most hits in a four-game stretch with his 17th hit in those four games. The historic stretch has completely turned Julio’s season around as he is once again looking like the MVP candidate from last season.
With Julio on first and Haggerty on third with nobody out, Eugenio Suarez struck out and Ty France was called out for interference when he stepped over the plate as the catcher attempted to throw out Julio Rodriguez who was trying to steal second. All of a sudden there were two outs, but that seemed to be exactly what Seattle wanted. Teoscar Hernandez drove an 0-2 splitter off the garage doors in left center for his second extra-base hit of the game. Haggerty and Julio both scored on Teo’s second double of the day and 25th of the season as Seattle blew it open with an 8-2 lead.
They still weren’t done. Seattle wanted to turn it into a laugher and they did that with a couple of unlikely home run hitters in the top of the 9th. Parker Mushinski was on the mound for Houston, facing Dylan Moore to begin the inning. As if the fans in the Crawford Boxes didn’t already have enough souvenirs, D-Mo sent one more their way. Moore’s second home run of the game and seventh of the season made it 9-2 Seattle. This would be Moore’s first career multi-homer game. Three batters later, Sam Haggerty sent another long ball into the Crawford Boxes. This would be Haggerty’s first home run of 2023 and put the M’s in double digits for the ninth time this season as they led 10-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th.
Eduard Bazardo made his Mariner debut after coming over from Baltimore at the Trade Deadline. The start to Bazardo’s Mariner career wasn’t exactly clean as the first batter he faced would hit one out of the park. Mauricio Dubón sent his sixth home run of the season out to left center for a solo shot. Bazardo would record his first strikeout in his second batter when he got David Hensley looking for the first out. After Corey Julks hit a ground-rule double to right center, Bazardo managed to settle down and finish this game off. A Jon Singleton groundout to Dylan Moore at second and a strikeout of Jose Altuve slammed the door on a dominant 10-3 win over the defending World Series champions.
With the season series already wrapped up, Seattle (68-55) will now look to sweep the Houston Astros (70-54) for the first time since 2018 when the M’s also did it on the road. Emerson Hancock (0-0, 5.40 ERA) is still in search of his first win and hopes to get it against the Mariners’ rivals. Hancock had a tough time out in his last start in Kansas City after looking very impressive in his debut against San Diego. A familiar foe will take the mound against the Mariners as Hunter Brown (9-8, 4.16 ERA) will take the ball for Houston. Brown only went three innings against the Mariners in July and allowed five runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out eight in that start. Brown came out of the bullpen his last time out against Miami, but is right back in the rotation this time around.
- Dylan Moore- 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB
- Teoscar Hernandez- 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R
- Julio Rodriguez- 4-6, 2 R, SB
- Logan Gilbert (W, 11-5)- 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
- Mauricio Dubón- 3-4, HR, RBI, R
- Yainer Diaz- 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI, R
- Framber Valdez (L, 9-9)- 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO