INJURY BULLETIN 6:48 p.m.: Franklin Gutierrez has a tght right hamstring and will be re-evaluated tomorrow after hurting himself lunging for that single that dropped in front of him in the fourth. Jason Bay has taken over in left, while Endy Chavez moves to center.
7:40 p.m.: The Lastros finally got on the board in the seventh inning when Rick Ankiel jumped all over a first-pitch fastball from Carter Capps and knocked it over the wall. Felix Hernandez was pulled after six because he’d thrown 98 pitches and the Mariners are already running away with this thing. Hernandez allowed five hits and struck out nine. Barring total disaster, he’ll get his 100th win about two seasons after he would have playing for a good team.
7:05 p.m.: The Mariners keep piling on the runs, getting another in that fifth inning as Justin Smoak doubled to right, Dustin Ackley notched an infield single and then Jesus Montero came through with the sac fly. Felix Hernandez won’t have an easier time than this in collecting a win. He’s got seven strikeouts already and has allowed only four hits.
6:45 p.m.: Kendrys Morales just got in on the home run parade in the fifth, launching his second of the year into the right field seats for a 6-0 lead.
6:16 p.m. Dustin Ackley led the fourth inning off with a double and then Jesus Montero absolutely crushed a pitch for a two-run homer to left center to give the Mariners a 5-0 lead. Astros starter Brad Peacock sure is getting his feathers ruffled a bit early .
6:10 p.m.: Kyle Seager looks unstoppable tonight, having just ripped a pitch into the upper deck in right field for a two-run homer in the third to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead. Franklin Gutierrez had just reached on a single when Seager smacked his second homer in two days to go with his earlier single tonight.
Felix Hernandez has given up a pair of hits, but has held the Astros off the scoreboard. He struck out five batters the first two innings.
5:15 p.m.: Well, that didn’t take very long. The Mariners already have more runs a half inning into this series than they did two games into their last one. Justin Smoak ripped an RBI single up the first base line and off the glove of Carlos Pena, who kept it from getting by him for a double. Kyle Seager had notched a one-out single to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Kendrys Morales drew a walk and then, one out later, a passed ball moved Seager to third. That was big, because it enabled him to score on the Smoak hit that makes it 1-0 for the Mariners heading to the bottom of the first.
5:01 p.m.: Felix Hernandez has been thwarted in three consecutive attempts at his 100th career victory. Tonight, he’ll make his fourth attempt here at Minute Maid Park against the woeful Houston Astros. Then again, the woeful Mariners are no shoo-in for anything these days.
Hernandez threw eight innings of one-run, four-hit ball against Detroit last week and came away with a no-decision. We’ll see whether his luck changes any here.
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