Mariners come up with late rally to win finale over Astros and salvage their series in Houston
HOUSTON — In desperate need of a victory to stay in a wild card race that becomes just a little more difficult with the number of games remaining in the season decreasing with each day, perhaps it was fitting that the Mariners finished the season series against a team they struggle to beat with a victory in a place where they have rarely found success.
Going into the top of the ninth inning, having stranded a small village of runners on the bases over the first eight innings, 12 to be exact, the Mariners came through with the clutch hit needed and tack-on runs necessary to exorcize the ghosts from so many squandered leads and past losses for an 8-5 victory over Houston.
Jose Marmolejos’ shift-beating two-run single up the middle broke a 4-4 tie to give the Mariners a lead. J.P. Crawford punctuated the inning with a two-run homer into the right-field seats to make sure Seattle kept it.
Paul Sewald returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth after his struggles less than 24 prior. He gave up a solo homer to Alex Bregman to start the inning, but retired the next three hitters in order to secure the victory.
It was Seattle’s third win at Minute Maid Park this season and fourth in three seasons.
Dating back to Sept. 20, 2020, and spanning three different teams, Mariners starter Tyler Anderson had pitched a minimum of five innings in 27 straight starts entering Wednesday’s game.
That streak ended when Anderson — who had already allowed a cheap solo homer to Jose Altuve to start the inning — walked Kyle Tucker to load the bases with two outs in the fifth. With right-hander Jake Meyers coming to the plate and Anderson at 80 pitches, manager Scott Servais went to his bullpen.
Anderson handed the ball to Servais and stalked off the mound, sharing his displeasure about the strike zone to home plate umpire Gabe Morales.
Right-hander Casey Sadler got Meyers to fly out to center to end the threat.
Anderson’s final line: 4 2/3 innings pitched, four runs allowed on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
The four runs allowed were the most he’d allowed in an outing since joining the Mariners.
Given a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Anderson gave up three runs in the second on a RBI double from Tucker and a two-run homer from veteran Marwin Gonzalez, who was a longtime Mariners nuisance in years past and was recently signed to a minor league deal and called up for this series.
The Mariners grabbed a two-run lead in the first inning, loading the bases on three straight singles off starter Jose Urquidy. Abraham Toro drove in a pair of runs with a double into the right-field corner.
But Seattle couldn’t push another run across in the inning and would leave the bases loaded in a sign of things to come.
Down 4-2 in the seventh, Jarred Kelenic smacked a two-run double off the wall in deep left-center on a first-pitch curveball to tie the game.