Houston Astros start fast, finish job vs. Seattle Mariners

By MoiseKapenda Bower, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 16, 2017 at 7:28 PM
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HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel worked six strong innings before Joe Musgrove put out a raging fire in the eighth as the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners 8-6 on Saturday at Minute Maid Park, reducing their magic number to win the American League West to one.

Keuchel (13-4) faced one batter over the minimum through four innings, induced an inning-ending double play to escape trouble in the fifth and, after surrendering a leadoff home run to Mariners shortstop Jean Segura in the sixth, closed the frame with three consecutive strikeouts.

In defeating the Mariners (74-75) for the third time in as many starts this season, Keuchel allowed one run on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He received an assist from Musgrove, who inherited a pair of runners in the eighth after fellow right-handed reliever Francis Martes surrendered four runs without retiring any of the five batters he faced.

With the tying run on base, Musgrove recorded a pair of strikeouts before getting Seattle catcher Carlos Ruiz to pop out to shortstop Carlos Correa. Musgrove returned in the ninth and recorded his first save despite allowing a two-out home run to right fielder Mitch Haniger.

Derek Fisher and George Springer posted two-out hits against Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (4-5) in the second inning, helping lift the Astros (90-58) to a 4-0 lead. Houston chased Ramirez in the fifth by tacking on two runs, with Carlos Beltran plating Jose Altuve with a single.

Beltran finished 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs. Fisher, Springer and Altuve each recorded two hits, as did right fielder Josh Reddick, who went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.

NOTES: Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez and LHP James Paxton will take their normal turns in the Seattle rotation next week, following RHP Mike Leake and pitching Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the Texas Rangers. Hernandez and Paxton were reinstated from the disabled list in succession on Thursday and Friday. ... Astros RHP Collin McHugh was in the bullpen but did not pitch for a second consecutive day. His status as a starter remains tied to the availability of RHP Lance McCullers, who is tentatively scheduled to start on Tuesday. ... Mariners LHP Ariel Miranda made his first relief appearance of the season and the fifth of his career when he entered to open the sixth inning. Miranda led Seattle pitchers in starts (29) and innings (158).

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