Jonathan Villar’s tie-breaking two-run single in the ninth was part of a four-run inning as the Astros rallied past the Mariners 6-4 on Monday in the first game of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
Jimmy Paredes tied the game in the ninth with a single. With the win the Astros are 3-82 when trailing after eight innings. Seattle managed only five hits, but the Mariners got good pitching. At one point Seattle pitchers retired 15 straight Astros hitters.
A four-run ninth inning for the Astros turned the game around. This came after the Astros failed to score in the eighth when they had runners at second and third and no outs. In the ninth, the Astros got clutch hits from Paredes and Villar, and key walks by Marc Krauss and Carlos Corporan.
Jarred Cosart may be a rookie but he knows how to pitch out of jams. In five innings, Cosart walked six but he allowed only one unearned run and two hits, leaving the game with a 2-1 lead. Cosart, who struck out three, threw 91 pitches, 48 for strikes. In the second inning Cosart looked frustrated and had command issues, walking two, but getting out of the inning unscathed. At one point in the second inning, Cosart threw eight straight balls.
Taijuan Walker defeated the Astros in his major league debut on Aug. 30 at Minute Maid Park. Monday was the 21-year-old’s third major league start. The right-hander went five innings on Monday, allowing two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.
In the bullpen
Kevin Chapman (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to get the win and Josh Fields pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get his fourth save.
Chia-Jen Lo gave up Abraham Almonte’s two-run home run that gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning. Josh Zeid pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Cosart.
Danny Farquhar (0-3), the sixth of seven Seattle pitchers, got the loss. Seattle’s fifth pitcher, Charlie Furbush, came in relief in a tough situation with the Mariners leading 3-2 in the eighth inning. The Astros had runners at second and third with one out when Furbush came into the game. The lefty retired pinch hitter Brandon Laird by strikeout and induced Matt Dominguez to ground out for the third out.
At the plate
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve had three hits to give him an American League-leading 18 for the month. Trevor Crowe had two hits.
The Astros failed to score in the eighth inning after putting runners at second and third with no outs. They also failed to score after loading the bases in the first inning off Walker as Chris Carter struck out swinging for the third out. Altuve and Crowe had one-out singles and Matt Dominguez drew a two-out walk. Carter struck out swinging his first three at-bats, ending an inning each time.
Abraham Almonte’s first major league home run in the seventh inning off Lo gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead.
Brad Miller hit a ninth-inning home run off Fields to trim Houston’s lead to 6-4. Seattle got a gift run in the first inning when Houston couldn’t turn an inning-ending double play. Almonte scored from second base on a throwing error by shortstop Villar. Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager walked three times, all off Cosart, and Seattle center fielder Dustin Ackley walked three times.
In the field
First baseman Brett Wallace made two good plays in the third inning and in the seventh inning he laid out to grab a liner hit by Seager. Wallace started a 3-6-1 double play to end the third inning, and on the first out of the third, Wallace made the unassisted putout on a hard-hit bunt by Almonte.
Altuve, at second base, made a play on the back-hand side on a liner hit by Ackley for the second out of the second inning. Altuve reached out and snagged the hard-hit ball.
Game 2 of the three-game series is Tuesday with RHP Jordan Lyles (6-7, 5.08 ERA) getting the start for Houston vs. LHP Joe Saunders (11-13, 4.95 ERA). In Wednesday’s finale, RHP Brad Peacock (4-5, 5.62 ERA) opposes Seattle RHP Brandon Maurer (4-7, 6.85 ERA).