Preview: Mariners at Astros

Current Conditions - Houston
Cloudy 81 °F
Wind: WNW 11.5
5-Day Forecast
GAME: Seattle Mariners (83-73) at Houston Astros (82-75)
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 27 - 8:10 PM EST
WHERE: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A


Robinson Cano has made himself at home at Minute Maid Park this season, and his latest big outing provided a big boost to the Seattle Mariners' postseason hopes. Cano belted two homers in Seattle's crucial series-opening 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Houston Astros and looks to inflict more damage when the Mariners visit their American League West rivals on Tuesday for the middle contest of a three-game set.

Monday's victory moved Seattle within two games of Baltimore for the AL's second wild-card spot while the Astros fell 3 1/2 behind due to the devastating defeat. Cano's game-winning solo shot in the 11th inning marked the 19th multi-homer performance of his career and made him 17-for-33 with six homers at Houston this season. "Right now, we want to stay in the race," Cano said afterward. "When you see teams ahead of you lose, you want to take advantage when they lose." Houston is in must-win mode as it faces Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, whom it roughed up for six runs - five earned - and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings during a 6-0 victory on Sept. 16 and torched him last season for eight runs in one-third of a frame on June 12, 2015.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle, Houston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (11-6, 3.61 ERA) vs. Astros RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.40)

Hernandez settled for a no-decision in his last turn despite allowing only two hits over seven scoreless innings against Toronto. He has yielded five or more earned runs in three of his last five outings while not permitting a run in the other two. Hernandez is 3-4 with a 4.07 ERA in nine career starts versus the Astros and has struggled against Jose Altuve (11-for-22).

Fiers defeated Seattle on Sept. 17, when he scattered three hits over six scoreless innings. He followed up with another good performance in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out nine in 6 1/3 frames. Fiers is 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners and has served up two homers to Cano in six at-bats.

WALK-OFFS

1. Astros SS Carlos Correa, who recorded three hits in the opener, has homered just once in his last 25 games.

2. Mariners DH Nelson Cruz (wrist), who continues to play through pain, recorded his fourth straight multi-hit performance on Monday and is 8-for-18 with four homers and nine RBIs during that stretch.

3. Houston OF Colby Rasmus (hip, groin) won't play again this season.

PREDICTION: Mariners 5, Astros 4

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Seattle 83-73 W2 42-35 41-38 19-13 16-18 35-35 13-7
Houston 82-75 L1 42-37 40-38 15-18 17-16 39-32 11-9

Last Meeting

Seattle Houston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/26/16 SEA 4 x HOU 3 .273 2 .815 .250 0 .561

Player Stats

Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
SEA K. Seager .371 23 1.104
HOU J. Altuve .400 26 1.089
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
SEA R. Cano 8 8 22
HOU J. Altuve 3 15 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
SEA 3.75 .240 154
HOU 3.32 .241 158
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
SEA R. Cano .298 188 .871
HOU J. Altuve .338 210 .931
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
SEA N. Cruz 41 92 101
HOU E. Gattis 31 57 69
Pitching ERA Avg K
SEA 4.01 .258 1266
HOU 4.00 .246 1362

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Seattle Overall Houston
83-73 W/L 82-75
78-78 RL W/L 70-87
77-73-6 O/U 70-79-8
4.71 Runs For 4.50
4.36 Runs Against 4.27
Seattle A/H Houston
41-38 W/L 42-37
42-37 RL W/L 27-52
35-40-4 O/U 27-45-7
4.84 Runs For 4.08
4.43 Runs Against 3.63