Astros shoot for another win over Mariners

( – The AL West-leading Houston Astros target a series win
over the Seattle Mariners when the division foes resume a three-game series
Tuesday at Safeco Field.

The Astros grabbed a 7-5 win in Monday’s opener and plated a pair of runs in
the eighth inning to snap a 5-5 tie. Luis Valbuena hit a solo homer and Jed
Lowrie added an RBI single in the decisive frame.

“We showed a lot of character tonight,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “I
love the way we battled back on both sides. We had a chance to implode when
they had a lot of traffic on and we didn’t. We tacked on a few runs to tie the
game and got a little momentum, and obviously Valbuena came through with some
big hits.”

Valbuena drove in three runs and finished with two hits and two runs scored.
Lowrie went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Astros and Tony Sipp picked up the
win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Houston rookie Asher Wojciechowski struggled through four innings and allowed
four runs and eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Collin McHugh looks to stay unbeaten when gets the nod for Houston Tuesday. He
is 2-0 with a 1.54 earned run average and tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball
in a 6-1 win over Oakland last Wednesday. He struck out 11 and walked none.

McHugh has made five career starts against Seattle and is 3-2 with a 4.11
earned run average.

The Mariners had a two-game winning streak stopped on Monday and lost for the
fifth time in the last seven tries. Nelson Cruz notched two hits and two RBI,
while Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma gave up four runs in 5 1/3 frames.

“We got to figure out how to get him down in the zone, fastball command has
not been good,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Iwakuma.

Danny Farquhar was dealt the loss in relief.

Taijuan Walker gets the start for Seattle Tuesday and is still searching for
his first win. Walker will make his first start at home after losing on the
road to Oakland and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has a lofty 17.18 ERA in 7 1/3
innings of work.

Walker, a right-hander, has fared well in his career against Houston as
evidenced by a 3-0 mark and a 2.91 ERA.

Seattle went 10-9 against Houston last season.