MARINERS EARN FIRST WIN WITH TWO RUNS IN THE NINTH INNING
What happened: The Seattle Mariners broke through for a multi-run ninth inning against Houston Astros closer Ken Giles in a 4-2 victory for the M’s first win of the season on Thursday in Houston.
Danny Valencia drew a one-out walk against Giles and Taylor Motter pinch-ran. Carlos Ruiz was then hit by a pitch, and Guillermo Heredia ran for the slow-footed catcher. Jarrod Dyson lashed a single to center to plate Motter and, after Leonys Martin struck out, Jean Segura singled to right to score Heredia.
Edwin Diaz tossed a 1-2-3 ninth with a pair of strikeouts for his first save.
Mitch Haniger hit a solo homer in the third off Astros starter Joe Mugrave, his first of the campaign.
Starter Ariel Miranda went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks, striking out four.
- Segura led off the game with a line-drive single to center and Haniger followed with a walk – after surviving a checked-swing call. But Robinson Cano hit into a 3-6-1 double play and Nelson Cruz bounced meekly to the pitcher to end what was a good threat.
- In the bottom half of the first, George Springer launched a moon shot out of Minute Maid Park, estimated to have traveled 454 feet into the gimmicky train tracks above left-center field.
- The M’s put the leadoff hitter on again in the second on a single by Kyle Seager, but he was stranded.
- Haniger got hold of a 92 mph slider on a 3-2 count that didn’t break much for his first homer of the season in the top of the third to tie it, but that didn’t last long when Marwin Gonzalez crushed a Miranda four-seam into the concession stands behind the Crawford boxes in the bottom half.
- Miranda loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit by pitch with no outs in the fifth. He induced a 5-2-3 double play from Jose Altuve, who fell trying to get out of the box and then, following an intentional walk, Carlos Beltran lined out to halt the rally.
- Seattle loaded the bases in the sixth, but managed just one run. Haniger and Cano singled, then Cruz walked. Seager forced Cruz but beat the return throw to avoid the double play and Haniger scored. It didn’t matter, as Valencia lined out and Ruiz flied out.
- Seager booted a grounder by former Mariner Nori Aoki in the the seventh, but the runner was erased on a double play on a fly ball to right field during a hit-and-run.
- Reliever Dan Altavilla made another nasty appearance, striking out the side. He’s got the “effectively wild” thing going for him, though his up-and-in to Carlos Correa almost nicked the bill of his batting helmet on the way through.
They weren’t going to lose them all. Still, it must be a relief in the clubhouse to push a couple across late and pick up the win before moving on to Anaheim. Miranda flirted with danger all night but kept the damage to a minimum. The rest of the pen did its job and, finally, the Mariners got a big hit when they really needed it. No one wanted to go to extra innings again.
Tweet of the Day
*stops stressing about offense scoring runs*— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 7, 2017
Ahh, a lead.
*starts stressing about the Díaz being tired after two innings last night*
Players of the Game
Hero: Jarrod Dyson. Went 1 for 4, but the hit was the big one, plating the go-ahead run.
Goat: Ken Giles. Astros closer ineffective in the ninth inning. He allowed two runs on two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Mariners at Los Angeles Angels on Friday at 7:07 p.m. RHP Yovani Gallardo (2016 w/BAL: 6-8, 5.42 ERA, 1.585 WHIP) vs. RHP Jesse Chavez (2016 w/TOR & LAD: 2-2, 4.43 ERA, 1.328 WHIP).
What others are saying
So is the M’s offense struggling or did the Astros pitch well in the four-game series? And is the Mariner pitching really solid or is Houston scuffling at the plate? All we know is Seattle picked up a 4-2 win yesterday. … Left-hander Dillon Overton returned to the team yesterday after the birth of his child. … There are some interesting eats this season at Safeco.
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