July 21, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Game thread, Mariners vs. Astros, July 21: Mariners win, 12-5
The ninth inning got ugly (four runs in for the Astros) , but the M’s complete second straight sweep to run their winning streak to six games. Their rejuvenated offense pounded out 13 hits, the big one Nick Franklin’s first career grand slam in the second.
ASTROS EIGHTH: Lucas Luetge, who grew up in nearby Industry, Texas and attended Rice, pitches for the first time in Houston and has a 1-2-3 innings with two strikeouts. 12-1 Mariners.
MARINERS EIGHTH: Michael Saunders’ scorches an RBI double off the left-field wall, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and extending the Mariner lead to 12-1.
ASTROS SEVENTH: Houston’s on the board! Noesi got two quick outs but yielded a double to Elmore and RBI single to Altuve. But M’s still ahead comfortably, 11-1.
MARINERS SEVENTH: One more run added to the pile on Brad Miller’s second RBI single of the game. 11-0 Mariners
ASTROS SIXTH: Hernandez strands two by striking out Carlos Corporan and Marc Krauss. With six shutout innings, his league-leading ERA has dropped to 2.43. Felix is at 99 pitches, so he might be done. The Astros have four hits — one to the infield. Hernandez has struck out seven. Barring disaster, he’ll win his sixth straight decision. 10-0 Mariners
MARINERS FIFTH: The Mariner offensive juggernaut rolls on with three more runs on three hits, a hit batter, an RBI fielder’s choice (Saunders) and sac fly (Ackley). Kendrys Morales had an RBI single following an Ibanez double. 10-0 Mariners
MARINERS FOURTH: Dustin Ackley is stranded after a leadoff single. Grand slam man Nick Franklin popped out. 7-0 Mariners.
ASTROS THIRD: Hernandez is through three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. 43 pitches. Lots of movement on his ball, it appears. 7-0 Mariners
MARINERS SECOND: The M’s erupted for seven runs, the big blow being the first career grand slam by Nick Franklin. Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller had RBI singles, and Henry Blanco drove in run the hard way, getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But don’t forget what happened last time Felix had an early 7-0 lead: He couldn’t hold it in Anaheim. 7-0 Mariners
ASTROS FIRST: A 10-pitch inning for Felix, capped by a strikeout of Jason Castro. 0-0
MARINERS FIRST: Last night, the Mariners didn’t get their first baserunner until the fifth inning. Today, Brad Miller led off with a walk. Nick Franklin looked like he had extra bases on an opposite-field liner down third base line, but Wallace made a backhand catch and doubled off Miller. Ibanez struck out.
Felix Hernandez tries to extend the Mariners’ winning streak to six games against an Astros team that has lost four in a row and has the worst record in the majors. In his only start against the Astros this year, he blanked them over six innings in a 7-1 Seattle win on April 22. Felix is 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA over his last nine starts. He hasn’t lost since May 25 against Texas.
Houston’s starter, 22-year-old Jordan Lyles, had a strong outing against the Mariners on June 12, pitching seven shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out 10 in a 6-1 Astros win. He had no decision — that was the game in which the Astros rallied for six runs in the ninth.