M’s Wilhelmsen lets Astros escape
SEATTLE – The Houston Astros rallied to score six runs off closer Tom Wilhelmsen in the ninth inning and beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Wednesday night.
It was the Astros first victory this season when trailing after eight innings and snapped a six-game losing streak.
Trailing 1-0, Jason Castro and J.D. Martinez led off with a pair of singles and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Carlos Corporan. After an intentional walk of Carlos Pena, Chris Carter doubled off the wall in left field to score a pair and give the Astros their first lead of the game. Another intentional walk loaded the bases again and brought the hook for Wilhelmsen (0-2). It was Wilhelmsen’s fourth blown save in his last nine tries.
Brandon Barnes drove in another run when his drive to left field glanced off the glove of Jason Bay and gave the Astros a 3-1 lead. Marwin Gonzalez drove in two more on a single to center off Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush walked in another.
Paul Clemens (4-2) earned the victory for Houston.
Both bullpens squandered brilliant outings from their respective starting pitchers. The Mariners offense had been stymied by Astros starter Jordan Lyles for seven innings before finally scratching out a run against Houston’s bullpen in the eighth. Endy Chavez singled to lead off the eighth inning. Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez picked up an error when he dropped the throw from Hector Ambriz on a bunt from Jason Bay that would have been in time to beat Chavez at second base.
After a pop out from Kyle Seager and strikeout by Raul Ibanez, Nick Franklin lined a single to right to drive in Chavez and give the Mariners their only run.
Lyles allowed just three hits over seven innings of work with a career-high 10 strikeouts before handing the game to the bullpen. His previous career-high for strikeouts had been eight coming into Wednesday night’s game. He struck out nine Mariners through the first four innings alone.
Jeremy Bonderman pitched well for the Mariners as well. Bonderman allowed just three hits in eight innings. He walked two and struck out five.
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