Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Astros aim to bounce back from meltdown vs. Mariners

Field Level Media
27 Jul 2021, 21:55 GMT+10

There's a reason the Seattle Mariners are looking to acquire a second baseman before Friday's trade deadline.

The Mariners have received the worst production in the majors from the position, entering a three-game series against Houston with a .186 batting average and minus-0.4 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

On Monday night, they used three players at the position.

All came through as the Mariners rallied from a seven-run deficit to defeat the visiting Houston Astros 11-8 to extend their winning streak to four games. Seattle pulled within a game of the idle Oakland A's in the chase for the American League's second and final wild-card playoff berth.

The Astros and Mariners continue the three-game series Tuesday night in Seattle.

Shed Long Jr. started at second for Seattle in the Monday series opener and had two hits, including a run-scoring single that pulled Seattle within 8-7 in the sixth inning.

Ty France, who began the game at designated hitter but finished it at second base, went 1-for-4 and scored twice.

Dylan Moore, who manned second between Long and France, hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to put the Mariners ahead.

A three-run double from rookie Cal Raleigh and a three-run homer by Kyle Seager got Seattle's comeback started.

Mariners manager Scott Servais praised the "heart" of his ballclub.

"It's tough when you get down like that, and certainly against a team that's leading the division with one of the best records in baseball," Servais said. "You're in a situation where we're at in the standings fighting for something against the first-place team, so this one's pretty darn special."

The Astros might be looking for another reliever at the trade deadline, something that would've come in handy Monday as they lost for the first time since 2000 when having a seven-run lead. All-Star closer Ryan Pressly was unavailable because he pitched the previous two days.

"This hurts a lot. We made some mistakes, we walked some hitters," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "We couldn't put the horse back in the barn and we didn't score anymore. We know their bullpen has been pitching great lately."

The Astros are scheduled to start right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (7-2, 3.04 ERA) on Tuesday. He is 7-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 14 career starts against the Mariners but will be facing them for the first time this season.

Seattle is set to counter with right-hander Chris Flexen (9-4, 3.35 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in two career starts against Houston. He took a 1-0 loss to the Astros on April 17, when he allowed one run on 10 hits in six innings.

Both teams could have players back Tuesday.

Houston activated veteran utility infielder Aledmys Diaz from the injured list. He had been sidelined since fracturing his left hand when hit by a pitch June 5 against the Toronto Blue Jays in a game played in Buffalo.

"I'm so excited," Diaz said. "It's a month and a half after I broke my hand, so I was very excited to be back with the team, especially for this road trip. We got San Francisco coming, Seattle is playing good and then the Dodgers. I'm excited to be here with the team."

Mariners left-hander Hector Santiago is eligible to return after being suspended for 10 games for getting caught with a foreign substance on his glove.

--Field Level Media

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