The Sports Xchange
Sep 7, 2017
SEATTLE -- Cameron Maybin hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Seattle closer Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros defeated the Mariners 5-3 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.
Maybin repeated his feat from Tuesday, when his tiebreaking, two-run shot in the seventh lifted Houston to a 3-1 win.
The Astros (86-53) ran their winning streak to seven games, increased their lead over the second-place Los Angeles Angels in the American League West to 14 1/2 and cut their magic number to win the division to nine.
The Mariners (69-71) lost their third straight and dropped 3 1/2 games back in the race for the second AL wild card.
It wasn't a good night for Diaz (3-6), who gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Beltran in the ninth. Two batters later, Maybin took Diaz the other way, homering off the right-field foul pole.
Chris Devenski (8-3) earned the win, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the contest.
Early on, the game had the makings of a pitchers' duel between Houston's Lance McCullers Jr. and Seattle's Andrew Moore, two pitchers who had just returned to their rotations this week -- McCullers from the disabled list, Moore from the bullpen.
McCullers was dominant early, retiring the first 11 Mariners. Except for a two-run double by Marwin Gonzalez in the fourth, Moore did a good job of dodging trouble.
Seattle's Kyle Seager hit a solo homer in the fifth.
The wheels came off for McCullers in the sixth, when he surrendered a leadoff triple to Jean Segura before Robinson Cano's flare to left equaled the score at 2-2. Mitch Haniger's two-out single brought home Cruz and gave Seattle a 3-2 lead.
McCullers went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, before giving way to Francisco Liriano after coughing up consecutive hits to Cano and Nelson Cruz.
Moore went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three. However, the Mariners' bullpen couldn't hold the lead. George Springer evened the score at 3-3 with an RBI single in the seventh off Nick Vincent.
NOTES: Houston 2B Jose Altuve took a routine day off, and Marwin Gonzalez took his spot in the field. Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Altuve will be back in the lineup on Friday in Oakland. ... Astros OF Jake Marisnick (groin) returned to action after missing five games, pinch-running for Carlos Beltran in the ninth. ... Houston RHP James Hoyt was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and slotted into the bullpen. ... Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (shoulder) and LHP James Paxton (chest) will both pitch in a simulated game on Friday. Each is expected to throw 30-35 pitches. ... Mariners RHP Seth Frankoff, claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, was optioned to Class A Modesto.