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May 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Game thread: Astros at Mariners — May 22, 2014

Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
Thursday, May 22, 2014 – Safeco Field (7:10 pm)
Houston Astros (17-30)   Seattle Mariners (22-23)
Player   Player
27 Jose Altuve 2B 99 James Jones (L) CF
21 Dexter Fowler (S) CF 55 Michael Saunders (L) RF
30 Matt Dominguez 3B 22 Robinson Cano (L) 2B
15 Jason Castro (L) C 15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
23 Chris Carter DH 17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
14 Jesus Guzman 1B 13 Dustin Ackley (L) LF
28 L.J. Hoes LF 7 Stefen Romero DH
6 Jonathan Villar (S) SS 6 Nick Franklin (S) SS
8 Alex Presley (L) RF 3 Mike Zunino C
Starting Pitcher Starting Pitcher
48 Jarred Cosart (3-3, 4.41) RHP 29 Roenis Elias (3-3, 3.88) LHP

FIRST INNING

Well that looked bad for the Mariners at the start as Jose Altuve hammered the first pitch from Elias over the wall in left for a leadoff homer. Elias then walked Fowler and, well, it looked like it could be a pretty long night for Elias and the M’s. But the rookie then settled down and got the next three out to end it there. So 1-0 at the end of the top of the first.

The Mariners got the run back in their half of the inning, though also likely felt a little unfulfilled. Jones led off with a walk, then advanced swiftly to third on a hit-and-run single by Saunders on a 3-1 count. Jones then scored easily on a fly to medium center by Cano —- as baseball sage Larry Stone noted, the Astros didn’t even appear to give a thought to the idea of trying to throw out Jones. But the threat ended there with a Seager 5-3 and a fly to left by Smoak. 1-1.

SECOND INNING

Elias had another tough start with another first-pitch hit and then a walk. But then he settled down to get the last three outs, helped greatly by Seager’s stab of a brutally hard-hit liner by Villar. He then got Presley looking at a 3-2 78-mile an hour bender. Heartbreak Hotel there for the young Astro right fielder. So it remains 1-1 heading to bottom two.

Nothing for Mariners in bottom of second. So 1-1 heading to the third.

THIRD INNING

Again, Elias let the first two batters reach base. And as he did in the second, he again got out of it, retiring the next three to leave the game tied at 1-1. After a walk and a hit, he struck out Castro and Carter, the latter on a 93-mph fastball. He got Carter on an 85-mph pitch in the first inning. Bad news is he’s thrown 60 pitches already.

It started promisingly enough when Jones led off with a single up the middle, giving him a 12-game hitting streak. Saunders then lashed a similar hit. But it bounced high enough for Costart to snare it and started a 1-6-3 double play. Cano then struck out, so here we are, tied 1-1.

Also, the team just announced it has officially signed right-handed reliever Todd Coffey to a minor league deal. The 32-year-old has pitched in 461 Major League games but has not pitched since 2012 while dealing with Tommy John surgery.

FOURTH INNING

Finally, a 1-2-3 inning for Elias, though not without some drama. Hoes hit it high and far to right, but Saunders made a good last-second correction to nab it. Then with two outs, Presley hit it long and far to center. But budding rookie sensation Jones caught up to it for the final out. So still tied at 1-1.

And nothing for the Mariners in the fourth. Seager singled to lead it off, but was caught off second with one out after Cosart made another nice play on a grounder by Ackley, and that sort of ended it there. 1-1

FIFTH INNING

Elias settling in with another 1-2-3 inning. But while he got through that one quickly, he still has thrown 90 pitches and Leone is warming up. See if the M’s can get some runs for him here.

Really quick 1-2-3 inning there leaves it at 1-1 heading to the sixth. I got up to get some peanuts and missed two at-bats. But trust me they were outs.

SIXTH INNING

Elias left after walking Carter on his 100th pitch of the night. But Leone then came on to strike out Guzman looking to end the inning. So still 1-1.

Passions were briefly stirred when Seager struck out, prompting lots of hope for a big blast from Justin Smoak. Alas, Smoak struck out to end the inning, so it’s still 1-1. Leone still on for the Mariners.

SEVENTH INNING

Leone gave up a two-out single to Altuve, who then stole second. But it ended there on a  groundout to second by Fowler. So STILL 1-1.

A long bottom of the seventh proved fruitful for the Mariners as they loaded the bases and then got two runs with two outs on a 3-2 grounder to second that Saunders beat out. He got his left foot just in front of the right foot of Houston pitcher Tony Sipp, who had retired all 21 batters he had faced this season prior to that at-bat. Replay clearly showed Saunders beat it out, so the call stood. No more scoring, but Seattle leads 3-1 heading to the top of the eighth.

EIGHTH INNING

1-2-3 inning for Medina and Seattle still leads 3-1.

Nothing for Mariners and here comes Rodney.

NINTH INNING

One of Rodney’s easiest ninths of the season and the Mariners win it 3-1. Now back to .500 at 23-23.

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