Well, the Mariners did the unthinkable, losing a series to the Houston Astros. Another ugly night — just six hits (half by Kelly Shoppach) while the Astros banged out 15.
ASTROS SEVENTH: A damaging two-run homer by Chris Carter off Carter Capps stretches Houston’s lead to 7-3.
MARINERS SIXTH: More longball: A leadoff, opposite-field homer by Gutierrez makes it 5-3.
MARINERS FIFTH: They get one more run back on RBI double by Kelly Shoppach, the Mariners’ star of the night. It was off the top of the wall in left-center. Mariners thought it was a homer, but replay review by umps — which took all of 55 seconds — revealed otherwise. 5-2 Astros
ATTENDANCE UPDATE: As suspected, it’s a new low — 10,493, which is 252 fewer than last night.
MARINERS FOURTH: A two-out ground-rule double for Ibanez, but Seager fouls out. 5-1 Astros.
MARINERS THIRD: M’s will not be no-hit, nor shut out, tonight, as Kelly Shoppach launches a one-out homer to left, his first as a Mariner. It’s 5-1.
ASTROS THIRD: This one is slipping for the Mariners once again. The Astros got two more runs, helped when Brendan Ryan lost leadoff man Jason Castro’s routine popup in the lights. Franklin Gutierrez raced in but had it go off his glove for what was ruled a two-base error by Gutierrez. He scored on a single by Carlos Pena (the first unearned run all season by Seattle) and Pena scored on a double by J.D. Martinez. It’s 5-0 Astros.
Injury report on Michael Saunders: He has a right shoulder sprain, will re-examined by Dr. Khalfayan. Will miss “some time.”
ASTROS SECOND: The Astros bats are still hot. They ripped four hits off Beavan, the big one a two-run homer by Rick Ankiel, who had struck out 12 times in 14 previous at-bats this season. Throw in a sac fly, and it’s 3-0 Astros.
ASTROS FIRST: The top of the first inning tonight might have been even more damaging for Seattle than last night — and Blake Beavan retired the Astros in order. But the first out was made by Michael Saunders crashing into the right field wall to catch a drive by Jose Altuve. It was a great catch, but Saunders went down in pain. After being tended to by trainer Rick Griffin, he got up and walked off the field, but was replaced by Jason Bay. No word yet on the extent of the injury, which appeared to be to Saunders’ right shoulder.
As this picture — snapped at 6:55 p.m. — displays, the attendance low from last night (10,745) is in grave danger of being surpassed.
Here’s what Eric Wedge said about sitting Michael Morse, who hit his sixth homer last night: “He needs a day off. You’re not going to open up and have him play 14 days in a row. It’s not right, it’s not fair. Ultimately, you’re going to put him in harm’s way. I had this (game) kind of highlighted. Sometimes, circumstances change, but I don’t think this is the case. I got Guti out of there early last night because I knew he was going to play today. I left Michael in there because I knew he wasn’t going to play.”
And here’s newly arrived Bobby LaFromboise on red-hot Mike Zunino: “It’s unbelievable. He’s hot, and he doesn’t look like he wants to slow down at all. He wants to be here as soon as possible. He’s just a great all-around player.”
LaFromboise on Danny Hultzen: “He’s looking really good. He’s my roommate on the road, so I’ve gotten to hang out with him quite a bit. He’s looked really good. He’s back in baseball form. I think the three or four months off, whatever, really helped. He came back with a new attitude. He looks like he’s ready to knock on the door also.”