July 20, 2013 at 3:54 PM
Game thread, Mariners vs. Astros, July 20: Mariners win, 4-2
M’s get one hit and win, 4-2. Wow.
MARINERS NINTH: Kyle Seager flies out, and his 15-game hitting streak is on the line, and so is M’s 23-game homer streak. Tom Wilhelmsen coming in to try for final three outs in 4-2 Mariner lead.
ASTROS EIGHTH: Furbush with an overpowering inning of relief, with two strikeouts and broken-bat popup. Iwakuma is three outs away from getting a win in this one. He allowed two runs over seven innings. 4-2 Mariners.
MARINERS SEVENTH:Did I say weird? Bedard left after giving up one-out walk to Smoak, his no-hitter still intact but at 109 pitches. Reliever Jose Cisneros struck out pinch-hitter Ackley, but walked Zunino, and Saunders blasted a double to deep center to score both runs. The first is charged to Bedard, so he’s up for the loss right now. 4-2 Mariners
MARINERS SIXTH: This game’s turned weird. M’s tied it with two unearned runs — and Bedard’s no-hitter is still intact. With one out, he walked Saunders and Miller and they moved up on a passed ball. Franklin hit a sac fly, and then another passed ball brought in Miller. Bedard’s at 100 pitches, so I doubt he’s completing this game. 2-2
ASTROS FIFTH: They break through with two runs on a single by Dominguez, double by Elmore, sac fly by Altuve and infield single by Castro. Now can the Mariners do anything with Bedard? Anything at all? 2-0 Astros
MARINERS FIFTH: M’s get their first baserunner on a Morales walk, but Bedard retires the next three. He’s got a no-hitter through five, with nine strikeouts. 0-0
ASTROS FOURTH: Iwajuma squirms out of trouble again, retiring Barnes — first time M’s have done that in this series — with runners on corners and two outs. 0-0.
MARINERS FOURTH: This is starting to get interesting as Bedard remains perfect through four, with seven strikeouts. He has good life on his fastball and has been very effective mixing in his off-speed stuff. 0-0.
ASTROS THIRD: Iwakuma works out of a big jam: Second and third, no outs. He strikes out Elmore and Pena, then knocks down a liner up the middle by Altuve and throws him out. 0-0
MARINERS THIRD: Bedard is dealing tonight. He’s perfect through three, with five strikeouts. The last three whiffs have been called. And he’s thrown just 38 pitches. 0-0
ASTROS SECOND: A 1-2-3 inning for Iwakuma, with a strikeout of Carter. Still waiting for the first hit of the game by either team. 0-0
MARINERS SECOND: Six up, six down for Bedard, who ends the second by getting Smoak on a called third strike on the inside corner. 0-0.
ASTROS FIRST: Iwakuma walked the leadoff hitter, Carlos Pena, but immediately erased him with a double play and then struck out Castro.
MARINERS FIRST: Bedard looked sharp in a 1-2-3 first, striking out Franklin and Ibanez.
Tonight it’s ex-Mariner Erik Bedard against current Seattle All-Star Hisashi Iwakuma. In his last start, Iwakuma broke a streak of five straight starts in which he gave up four or more runs, yielding three in seven innings in a win over the Angels. Bedard pitched against the Mariners on April 9, blanking them on one hit over four innings in a game the Astros won, 16-9.
In their last 23 games, since June 20, not only have the Mariners homered in each of those games, but they are hitting .275 with a .489 slugging percentage and .834 OPS. During that stretch, they lead the majors in homers (41), slugging, OPS and runs per game (5.7). They are 12-11 in those games.