HOUSTON (AP) — Seattle starter Roenis Elias struggled and Seattle’s hitters didn’t fare any better to send the Mariners to their most lopsided loss of the season.
Rookie Lance McCullers and four relievers combined for a two-hitter and Evan Gattis tied a career high with four hits to help the Houston Astros to the 13-0 win Sunday.
Elias (3-4) was roughed up for seven hits and a career-high eight runs in 3 1/3 innings in his shortest start of the season.
“He just didn’t have much command today, and it was a tough day for him in a lot of different ways,” manager Lloyd McClendon said.
McCullers (3-1) struck out four and didn’t allow a hit through five, but he needed 90 pitches to get through those innings because of four walks. He was replaced by Tony Sipp for the sixth inning and Austin Jackson doubled with one out in the inning.
Joe Thatcher allowed one hit in the seventh, Will Harris threw a perfect eighth and Josh Fields completed the shutout.
Colby Rasmus had three RBIs as the Astros built a 10-0 lead by the fourth inning on a day where all but one player in the starting lineup had a hit.
“When you’re down 8, 10, 12-0, your at-bats become very tough,” McClendon said. “That’s just the way it is. It’s hard to judge offense on days like this. It’s not pretty, that’s for sure.”
The 21-year-old McCullers has been great for Houston since making the jump from Double-A. He has a 2.00 ERA in six starts.
The Astros were playing without All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve, who missed his second straight game with a strained right hamstring. Marwin Gonzalez filled in and had a homer and two RBIs.
The Mariners won 8-1 on Saturday, but their offensive woes returned Sunday as they struck out 10 times and were shut out for the second time in this series and third time in four games.
“Thirteen-0, not a lot goes well,” Seattle’s Kyle Seager said. “You only have two options — you can hang your head and feel sorry for yourself or you can get back to work.”
Rasmus drove in two runs with a single in the first inning and the Astros made it 3-0 when Jake Marisnick reached and Chris Carter scored on an error by Seager.
A ground-rule RBI double by Marisnick made it 4-0 in the third and a bases-loaded walk pushed it to 5-0. A run-scoring single by Rasmus made it 6-0 with one out in the fourth and chased Elias.
He was replaced by Danny Farquhar, but it didn’t do anything to slow Houston. He was greeted with a double by Hank Conger that sent two more home before a two-run homer by Luis Valbuena extended the lead to double-digits with two outs in the inning.
He finally escaped the inning when Gonzalez grounded out.
Mark Lowe walked Conger with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 11-0 and end a streak of 15 1/3 scoreless innings for the reliever.
Gonzalez hit a solo homer off Charlie Furbush in the sixth and Preston Tucker added an RBI double in the eighth.
Seattle’s Logan Morrison had hit in every game in his career at Minute Maid Park, but went 0 for 4 on Sunday to snap the 18-game streak in Houston.
Mariners: Left fielder Mark Trumbo was a late scratch with back spasms. He said he doesn’t think it is serious, but isn’t sure if he’ll play Monday.
Astros: Hinch said Altuve was feeling better Sunday and Houston doesn’t think his injury is serious. He is day to day.
Mariners: Right-hander Taijuan Walker opposes San Francisco’s Tim Hudson when the Mariners begin a two-game interleague series against the Giants on Monday. Walker is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in his last three starts.
Astros: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel faces Colorado’s Chad Bettis in the first game of a two-game series with the Rockies on Monday. Keuchel is second in the AL with a 1.90 ERA.
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