(Houston, TX) While the Seattle Mariners have completely turned their season around to find themselves atop the AL West standings, the Houston Astros have continued to struggle mightily as the perennial power in the AL West came into the three-game series looking up at three teams ahead of them in the division standings, including the Oakland A’s. Seattle’s pitching looked to continue their historic stretch against a lineup that has been very up and down as of late. A series win for the Mariners would give them series wins over both of last season’s World Series teams, one of the two favorites to win the World Series this season, and the team that has been in the ALCS in seven consecutive seasons. What came out of it was yet another statement made by the Seattle Mariners.

Astros 5, Mariners 3 (Game 1, May 3rd)

The opening game of the series saw George Kirby look to build off of his best start of the season against Arizona as he took on one of the best young pitchers in baseball in Ronel Blanco. After throwing a no-hitter earlier in the season, Blanco has continued to dominate and be the beacon of light in an injury riddled Houston rotation.

Josh Rojas made sure there would not be a no-hitter in this one as he singled to lead off the game against Blanco, but the first run wouldn’t come until the 3rd. After Rojas and Julio Rodriguez both flew out to begin the inning, Jorge Polanco came to the plate as he continued to build himself back up after a really tough start to the season. A changeup stayed up toward the top of the zone and Polanco clobbered a deep drive to right center. The fifth home run of the season for Polanco made sure the M’s wouldn’t be shutout as they had the 1-0 lead.

Houston started to build a threat in the bottom of the 4th. Yordan Alvarez reached on a one out double and advanced to third on a single by Alex Bregman. George Kirby would get a grounder, but it was hit way too softly for a double play and Jorge Polanco had to just take the out at first while Alvarez scored. Yainer Diaz would ground out to end the inning, but Houston had evened things up at 1-1.

It wouldn’t take too long for the Mariners to get back out in front. In the top of the 5th, Luke Raley singled to right to leadoff the inning and put some good speed on base. While Dylan Moore has been pretty good defensively since taking over at shortstop for the injured J.P. Crawford, he has struggled to hit the ball. This time around, D-Mo jumped all over a first pitch fastball at the top of the zone and took advantage of the Crawford Boxes in left as he sent his second home run of the season out to left. Three batters after Houston had tied it, Seattle had retaken the lead 3-1.

Offense was nonexistent for the M’s for awhile but George Kirby seemed to not need anymore. The master of control, Kirby had a different start than the Arizona outing but it was still impressive. Kirby kept the bases clean for the most part and only allowed two hits outside of the bottom of the 4th when Houston scored. The Cy Young dark horse went six innings and only allowed that one run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Surprisingly, manager Scott Servais opted to go to the bullpen in the top of the 7th, citing a knee injury as the reason for not letting Kirby go a bit deeper into the game. That decision would end up being a mistake. Trent Thornton walked Jeremy Peña to begin his outing before giving up an infield single to Yainer Diaz to put runners on first and second. Jon Singleton moved those runners up to second and third with a groundout. With just one out, Gabe Speier came in to try to put out the fire. A walk to Jake Meyers loaded the bases for Mauricio Dubón but before he could do any damage, the Mariners inflicted some on themselves. Cal Raleigh tried to pick off Peña at third, but an errant throw went down the left field line allowing Peña to score and moving the other runners up to second and third. Dubón then hit a fly ball to right center field that was caught by Mitch Haniger, despite colliding with Julio Rodriguez. It was deep enough to score a run regardless as Houston tied the game at 3-3.

Still in some trouble, the lefty had to then turn his attention to Jose Altuve with a runner on third and two outs. While Houston’s offense as a whole has struggled mightily this season, Altuve has been as consistent as ever and that consistency included being a pest to the Mariners. The former MVP* laid down a surprise bunt that caught the Mariners sleeping. The ball was bunted firmly enough for Rojas to attempt to make a play and despite a strong effort, Altuve was able to beat it out and give Houston a 4-3 lead. Three consecutive walks to Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, and Alex Bregman scored another run for the Astros as they extended their lead to 5-3.

The meltdown carried over into the Mariners half of the 8th. Singles by Josh Rojas and Julio Rodriguez put the M’s in a great spot with runners on first and second and nobody out. Ryan Pressly then threw a wild pitch to move the runners up to second and third with Jorge Polanco at the plate. He would strikeout looking which would then lead to Mitch Haniger. Haniger hit a fly ball to right that was caught by Kyle Tucker. Rojas bluffed a tag but Julio did not get the memo. J-Rod attempted to scramble back to second but that forced Rojas to try to score. A rundown would end with Rojas being tagged out for a double play. The baserunning disaster was the last gasp for the Mariners as the late meltdown ended with Seattle dropping the opener 5-3.

Notable Performances


  • George Kirby (ND)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
  • Dylan Moore- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Josh Rojas- 3-4


  • Jose Altuve- 1-4, RBI, R
  • Yainer Diaz- 2-4, R
  • Ronel Blanco (ND)- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO

Mariners 5, Astros 0 (Game 2, May 4th)

Trying to flush the disastrous end to the opener, the Mariners moved on to game two of the series with Houston as Logan Gilbert took the mound against the tricky lefty Framber Valdez. Neither pitcher had a loss on their record coming into the showdown but that would not be the case when this one was over.

A double play helped Valdez get out of trouble in the top of the 1st and Logan Gilbert pitched out of two-out trouble following a bunt single for Yordan Alvarez and a walk to Alex Bregman. In the top of the 2nd, Seattle once again pressured the Houston southpaw. A leadoff single for Ty France started the inning and a wild pitch moved him to second. Mitch Haniger then singled as well to put runners on the corners. Cal Raleigh’s grounder to short allowed the Astros to trade a run for two outs. A second double play helped minimize the damage, but the M’s had still taken a 1-0 lead.

New faces played add on for the Mariners after that. In the top of the 4th, Jorge Polanco doubled into the right field corner to begin the inning. Immediately following Polanco, Mitch Garver sliced a double into right center for his fifth double of the season, driving in Polanco and extending the lead to 2-0. Following some strong defense, Luis Urías translated that defensive success to the plate. On the second pitch of the top of the 5th, Urías got a sinker in the middle of the plate and drove it out to straightaway center field for his third home run of the year. The new acquisitions had cushioned Logan Gilbert’s lead up to 3-0.

Photo by @Mariners on X

It couldn’t just be the new guys having all the fun and in the top of the 6th, some familiar faces stepped in. Another leadoff single for Ty France put a runner on first and with one out, Cal Raleigh strode to the plate. Framber Valdez had not allowed a home run this season coming into this start, but he would allow two on Saturday afternoon. A hanging slider was smoked over the garage door walls in left center as Cal’s home run drought was over. His seventh long ball of the year continued to build the lead as it rose to 5-0.

While the offense was doing a nice job building a lead, Logan Gilbert stole the show. After allowing the bunt single to Yordan Alvarez back in the first, Gilbert did not allow another hit until the bottom of the 7th. Logan was rolling right through the Houston lineup as he let his defense do a bulk of the work as they were on their A-game. In the bottom of the 7th, a single to Jeremy Peña followed a walk to Alex Bregman. With runners on first and second and one out, Gilbert would get Yainer Diaz to hit a grounder to Urías for a textbook 5-4-3 double play. The inning ended with a scream from Logan Gilbert as he would then get another double play to end the 8th. That would be the end of the road for Gilbert but his brilliant day was huge as he went eight scoreless innings of two hit ball, allowing four walks while striking out six.

Tayler Saucedo looked to end things in the bottom of the 9th and give Andrés Muñoz another day off. After a quick strikeout of Jose Altuve, Saucedo got Kyle Tucker to groundout to Polanco at second for a quick two outs. The game was extended on a soft infield single by Yordan Alvarez, who recorded two outs without having a ball leave the infield. That brought up the struggling Alex Bregman and despite a solid line drive, Mitch Haniger would make a routine catch to close things out. A nice, relaxing win was just what the Mariners needed as they forced a rubber game with a 5-0 shutout victory.

Notable Performances


  • Logan Gilbert (W, 3-0)- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO
  • Cal Raleigh- 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Mitch Garver- 2-5, 2B, RBI


  • Yordan Alvarez- 2-3
  • Framber Valdez (L, 1-1)- 5.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO


Mariners 5, Astros 4 (Game 3, May 5th)

Seattle’s five series win streak was on the line in Sunday’s finale in Houston as Texas native Bryce Miller got the start for the Mariners against Hunter Brown. Coming off the best start of his young career, Miller had many friends and family member’s in attendance as he looked to extend the series winning streak for the Mariners.

While the Mariners missed out on a scoring opportunity, a tremendous play by Luis Urías turned a double play to end the Houston threat in the 1st. Seattle would then strike in the top of the 2nd. Mitch Garver began the inning by getting hit by a pitch and he moved to second on a Luke Raley walk. Dylan Moore loaded the bases with a single and with nobody out, Urías came to the plate looking to do some serious damage. He would do a bit but never had the opportunity to do much as he drew a walk to score a run and make it 1-0. Josh Rojas stayed scorching hot with a base hit into left to score Raley to make it 2-0 with still nobody out. Unfortunately, that would be the end of it as Julio Rodriguez struck out and Jorge Polanco hit into a double play to end the inning, but the Mariners had taken a 2-0 lead.

While Bryce Miller continued to hang zeros, there was a long sigh of relief for Luke Raley in the top of the 6th. Leading off the inning, Raley destroyed a fastball at the very top of the zone. A 407-foot bomb was the first home run of the season for Raley and his first as a Mariner. A 3-0 lead had the Mariners in a good spot going into the bottom of the 6th.

Houston would all of a sudden get the long ball going for themselves as they fought back into it. After Julio took a hit away from Trey Cabbage to begin the inning, Jose Altuve singled to left and Kyle Tucker did the big damage. The perennial MVP candidate launched his ninth home run of the season to right and cut the deficit down to one at 3-2. An inning later, Houston would chase Bryce Miller following a single for Jeremy Peña and a two-run bomb from Jon Singleton. The first baseman’s third home run of the season had turned the game on its head as Houston had a 4-3 lead.

Tayler Saucedo got out of trouble to end the 7th and Bryan Abreu came on to pitch the top of the 8th for Houston. He would hit Dylan Moore with one out and that would come back to bite the Astros. D-Mo moved up to second following a balk. Luis Urías then singled back up the middle into center. Moore scored from second and the game was back to even at 4-4.

Andrés Muñoz got out of Ryne Stanek’s jam to end the 8th. In the top of the 9th, Josh Hader took over to try to give Houston a chance to walk it off. The big offseason acquisition for Houston retired Jorge Polanco to begin the inning and then Cal Raleigh stepped up to the plate. After a homerless drought had ended the night before, Raleigh would turn it into a home run streak. The switch hitting catcher took a Hader sinker over the Crawford Boxes in left for his eighth home run of the year. The clutch long ball had given the M’s and Muñoz a 5-4 lead in the 9th. The Mariner closer did the rest from there as he sat down the Astros in order to close out the sixth consecutive series win for the Mariners as they defeated the Astros 5-4.

Notable Performances


  • Josh Rojas- 3-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, BB
  • Cal Raleigh- 1-5, HR, RBI, R
  • Bryce Miller (ND)- 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO


  • Jon Singleton- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Kyle Tucker- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Hunter Brown (ND)- 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO


What’s Next

Seattle (19-15) have now won 13 of their last 18 games and remain 1/2 of a game ahead of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West. The M’s will wrap up their seven-game road trip with a four-game series in Minneapolis where they will take on the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota (19-14) has turned their season around thanks to a 12-game winning streak that came to and end on Sunday. Some tremendous pitching will be on display but for the Mariners, they will need to continue their recent trend of putting together good at-bats and getting into their opponents bullpens. If the Mariners can get to the Twins bullpen, it will throw everything off for Minnesota later in the series.

  • Game 1, Monday 4:40pm- Luis Castillo (3-4, 3.46 ERA) vs. Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 2.45 ERA)
  • Game 2, Tuesday 4:40pm- Emerson Hancock (3-3, 4.75 ERA) vs. Bailey Ober (3-1, 4.55 ERA)
  • Game 3, Wednesday 4:40pm- George Kirby (3-2, 3.76 ERA) vs. Chris Paddack (3-1, 4.78 ERA)
  • Game 4, Thursday 10:10am- Logan Gilbert (3-0, 1.69 ERA) vs. Pablo López (3-2, 4.30 ERA)



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