The Astros spotted Seattle a three-run lead in the top of the first inning and couldn’t overcome the deficit, in losing 3-1 on Saturday at Minute Maid Park, sending the Astros to their fifth straight loss and third straight to the Mariners. The four-game series concludes on Sunday. The Astros have scored only four runs in the first three games of the series.
Dallas Keuchel (5-8) settled down after allowing the three first-inning runs. The left-hander retired 12 straight before hitting Brad Miller with two outs in the fifth inning. Keuchel retired the side in order in the second, third and fourth. In seven innings Keuchel allowed only three runs and all four hits allowed were singles. In his previous start, Keuchel pitched seven scoreless innings.
Seattle starter Joe Saunders (11-13) avoided trouble and led 3-1 when he was relieved in the sixth inning. In 5 1/3 innings the left-hander allowed one unearned run and six hits with two strikeouts and three walks – all in the second inning. In the second inning Saunders also gave up a single but did not allow a run. Saunders entered the game allowing 79 extra-base hits and 195 hits in 157 1/3 innings.
IN THE BULLPEN
Erik Bedard pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning without the Mariners scoring.
Seattle’s Carter Capps came into a tough situation in the sixth inning with two-on and one-out and the Mariners leading 3-1. Capps got Jake Elmore to pop up to the catcher and struck out Marwin Gonzalez. Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.
AT THE PLATE
Brandon Barnes, who hit for the cycle in a five-hit night against the Mariners on July 19, a night that Saunders started, had two hits on Saturday. Barnes’ second hit, a one-out single in the sixth inning chased Saunders from the game. Barnes scored Houston’s run in the fourth inning, scoring on second baseman Nick Franklin’s error. Matt Dominguez also had two hits for Houston. In the sixth and seventh innings, the Astros left two runners on each inning, trailing 3-1.
The Mariners gave Saunders a lead to work on with the 3-0 lead in the first inning. Kyle Seager had two hits for the Mariners.
IN THE FIELD
Houston catcher Cody Clark threw out two base stealers. He’s thrown out five of six base stealers since the Astros called up the 31-year-old catcher on Aug. 23. Left fielder Robbie Grossman made an outstanding catch on a low, sinking liner for the first out of the seventh inning. Grossman had to go to his knees to rob Franklin of a hit.
The four-game series concludes on Sunday with Houston LHP Brett Oberholtzer (3-1, 2.91 ERA) opposing RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 3.03 ERA). Oberholtzer is one of four rookies in the six-man rotation.
The Astros host the Twins in three games starting Monday afternoon. The Houston rotation has RHP Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.81 ERA) on Monday, Jarred Cosart on Tuesday and Jordan Lyles on Wednesday.