NINTH INNING — Charlie Furbush got Castro to fly out to right field for the first out. Danny Farquhar then recorded the final two outs. MARINERS WIN 6-1.
EIGHTH INNING — Altuve got his third hit of the night — a sharp single off the King’s leg. After a quick check from a trainer, Hernandez stayed in the game. He then started a 1-6-3 double play off the bat off Dexter Fowler, and let out a primal yell in celebration as he walked toward the dugout, his night complete. Mariners 6, Astros 1.
SEVENTH INNING — Felix set down the Astros in order. He’s at 93 pitches through seven. … Smoak reached on a sharp one-out single to right, moved to second on a balk and scored on Seager’s bloop single. Mariners 6, Astros 1.
SIXTH INNING — Zunino hit the yellow at the top of the wall in right field, missing a home run by an inch or two. Not to worry: Bloomquist hit a two-run home run off Owens just fair and just over the wall in left, extending the M’s lead to 5-1. It was Bloomquist’s first home run since Aug. 10, 2011 — also against the Astros — when he was with Arizona. He had gone 663 plate appearances between homers. Owens then walked Romero, prompting a call to the bullpen. Owens allowed five runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings in his major-league debut. Mariners 5, Astros 1.
FIFTH INNING — Altuve had a two-out double off Felix, because that’s what the King Slayer does, but Felix got Fowler looking at strike three. Fowler not happy. … Somehow, Cano made an out. Odd. Seager was hit by a pitch with two outs. Gillespie grounded out. Mariners 3, Astros 1.
FOURTH INNING — Felix struck out Dominguez and Krauss to start the inning, before Presley singled to left. Hoes grounded out weakly to first. … Gillespie walked to lead off the inning and moved to third on a first-pitch, hit-and-run single by Zunino. Bloomquist then drove in Gillespie to extend the Mariners’ lead to 3-1. Jones reached on an infield single to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Romero popped out. Mariners 3, Astros 1.
THIRD INNING — The leadoff walk always scores, right? Felix walked Gonzalez on a 3-2 pitch. Gonzalez moved to second on a weak groundout to third, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Altuve’s single up the middle. Altuve, the King Slayer? He’s now 6 for 14 against Felix. … Cano had his second hit of the night, a single to right, but didn’t budge from there. Mariners 2, Astros 1.
Robinson Cano with his second hit of the game. It wasn't a homer.
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 24, 2014
Cano now hitting .330/.378/.434 for the year. 23-for-68 (.338) vs. LHP.
— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) May 24, 2014
SECOND INNING — A solid defensive inning by the Mariners. Smoak made a diving stop on a Krauss grounder near the line for the first out, and Bloomquist made a nice play up the middle to throw out Presley at first. Astros manager Bo Porter challenged the play — the review lasted 2 minutes, 43 seconds — but the out call stood. During the delay, trainer Rick Griffin checked up on Smoak, who may have hurt his hand on the dive. But he stayed in the game. … Ackley had a leadoff single, but nothing more for the M’s. Mariners 2, Astros 0.
FIRST INNING — Fowler got on with an infield single (despite Cano’s best efforts up the middle), but Felix stranded Fowler there with no harm done. … Owens, No. 99, recorded his first major league out by getting Jones, No. 99, to fly out to deep center. Romero grounded out to short. Cano singled and Smoak followed with a first-pitch double off the Coors Light mountains in left field, snapping his 0-for-11 stretch. Seager then delivered a single to center on a 3-2 pitch to score both runners. Gillespie flew out near the right-field line. Mariners 2, Astros 0.
That was Smoak's 12th double this season. He had 19 all of last season.
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 24, 2014
A few more pregame tidbits:
— Felix Hernandez, earning $23.5 million this season, will make more for his start tonight than will Astros lefty Rudy Owens (about $500,000) all year.
— Owens, wearing No. 99, will throw his first major league pitch to Mariners’ James Jones, also No. 99. Has that ever happened?
— In advance of Saturday’s Turn Back the Clock Night, it’s a Retro King’s Court out near left field tonight, with fans in blue T-shirts.
— Robinson Cano has a streak of reaching base in 29 consecutive games since April 20, batting .363 during the streak. It’s the longest active on-base streak in the majors and the longest by a Mariner since Mike Carp had a 30-game streak in 2011.
— Jones has a hit in each of his first 13 major league starts, a Mariners record.