Mariners escape, salvage finale vs. Astros

Seattle, WA ( – J.A. Happ pitched into the eighth inning and
the Seattle Mariners eked out a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday
to salvage the finale of a three-game series.

Mike Zunino hit a solo homer and Brad Miller went 2-for-3 with an RBI behind
Happ (1-1), who scattered eight hits and two runs over 7 1/3 innings.

“He’s a veteran starter that knows what he’s doing and gives us quality
innings,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Happ.

Chris Carter homered for Houston but struck out in a big spot in the eighth.

“From the side, it looked like Carter got caught in between a little bit,
fastball, breaking ball, another borderline pitch on the check swing at the
end,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

Roberto Hernandez (0-2) surrendered three runs on six hits over seven innings
for the Astros, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Seattle’s bullpen gave away the first two games of the series, and Yoervis
Medina looked like he was blowing the finale when he walked three of the first
four batters he faced in the eighth. The other batter, Evan Gattis, drove a
fly ball to the wall in right only to be robbed by a leaping Nelson Cruz.

Medina bore down and struck out Carter on three pitches to leave the bases
loaded, and Fernando Rodney escaped another jam in the ninth to post his
fourth save.

A textbook hit-and-run by Jake Marisnick and Jose Altuve put runners on the
corners with one out against Rodney, and Luis Valbuena popped out in the
infield and George Springer grounded out to second to end the game.

Cruz recorded his 17th RBI in the first inning with a two-out single to plate
Austin Jackson, who singled with one away and stole second to get into scoring

Zunino sent a payoff pitch just inside the left-field foul pole in the third,
and Miller tacked on a two-out RBI single an inning later.

Colby Rasmus scored from second on Altuve’s single in the fifth, as he
narrowly avoided Zunino’s swipe tag with a nifty slide.

Carter led off the seventh with his first home run of the season.

Game Notes

Happ pitched for the Astros from 2010-12 and is 3-0 in four career starts
against them … Houston’s Jed Lowrie went 3-for-3 with a walk … The
Mariners had dropped six of eight coming in … Zunino’s homer was Seattle’s
only extra-base hit.