HOUSTON (AP) — Seattle Mariners starter Vidal Nuno was done in by three bad pitches Monday night.
Nuno (0-3) tied a career-high by allowing three homers as the Mariners fell 8-3 to the Houston Astros.
“Giving up those home runs killed (me),” he said. “I was leaving the ball up, command was off a little bit.”
Nuno yielded seven hits and five runs in six innings. He was filling in for ace Felix Hernandez, whose start was skipped to give him a break. He’ll pitch on Saturday in Oakland.
“I thought he threw the ball, for the most part, pretty good,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He made a mistake pitch to the shortstop that kind of put the game out of reach for us at that point, but he pitched well enough that, if we could have capitalized on some opportunities, to win a ballgame.”
Dallas Keuchel allowed one run and struck out eight in seven innings to become the American League’s first 16-game winner and lead the Astros to the victory.
Rookie Carlos Correa, who returned after missing four games with a hamstring injury, hit a two-run homer, and Jed Lowrie and Hank Conger added solo shots off Nuno to help the AL West-leading Astros to the win.
Keuchel (16-6), who gave up six hits, improved to 12-0 at home this season and has won 13 straight decisions in Houston dating back to last year to tie a franchise record set by Danny Darwin in 1989-90
Lowrie and Conger homered in the fourth to put Houston up 3-1, before Correa’s shot broke it open in the fifth.
Mark Trumbo homered twice for the Mariners, who went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
“It was actually a pretty good curveball, but he’s just so strong that he went down and just golfed it out,” McClendon said of his first home run. “You can do that in this ballpark.”
The Astros took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Evan Gattis in the first inning.
The Mariners first hit came on the homer by Trumbo with two outs in the second inning to tie it 1-1. It was the first home run Keuchel has allowed in Houston since Adrian Beltre went deep on Aug. 10, 2014.
Keuchel got into a jam in the fourth when Seattle loaded the bases with no outs. The Mariners came away empty-handed when Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a double play before Trumbo struck out.
Lowrie, who also doubled, snapped a 0-for-28 skid with his solo homer that put Houston up 2-1 with one out in the fourth. It was his first hit since Aug. 19. Conger connected on a fastball with two outs in the inning, sending it to the train tracks atop the left field wall for a 3-1 lead.
Altuve singled with no outs in the bottom of the fifth before Correa’s homer bounced high off the wall in left-center to make it 5-1. Correa, who was the top overall pick in the 2012 draft, leads all rookies in the American League with 16 homers
Gattis, Carlos Gomez and Lowrie each drove in a run in the seventh.
Robinson Cano grounded out to start the game to snap a streak of reaching base safely in eight consecutive plate appearances.
Trumbo added a two-run homer in the ninth inning.
HERE KITTY KITTY
There was a bit of commotion in the bottom of the sixth inning when a kitten ran by the Mariners dugout and scurried around the dirt down the left field line. The feline never ventured too close to the diamond though. Seattle reliever Edgar Olmos was entertained by the incident.
“I have no idea where it came from,” he said. “I just saw it run in front of the dugout during the game and then it ran into the stands. It was a little golden kitten. And then it ran up into the stands, and I’m not sure if anyone grabbed it or not.”
Mariners: Ketel Marte returned after sitting out Sunday with a right hamstring injury. He wasn’t originally in the lineup on Monday, but was inserted after Austin Jackson was traded to the Cubs before the game.
Astros: OF George Springer (broken right wrist) played the second game of a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi on Monday. The Astros haven’t said how many games he’ll need before he’s ready to return to Houston. Springer hasn’t played since July 1 when he was plunked in the wrist.
Houston’s Scott Feldman opposes Roenis Elias when the series continues on Tuesday. Feldman threw eight scoreless innings in his last start and led the American League with a 1.33 ERA in August.
Astros 8, Mariners 3
|KMarte ss||4||0||0||0||Altuve 2b||5||2||3||0|
|Seager 3b||4||0||1||0||MGnzlz lf-1b||3||2||1||0|
|N.Cruz rf||3||0||1||0||Correa ss||4||1||2||2|
|Rsmssn p||0||0||0||0||Gattis dh||3||1||1||2|
|Cano 2b||4||0||1||0||CGomz cf||4||0||1||1|
|Gutirrz lf||4||1||1||0||Lowrie 3b||4||1||2||2|
|Trumo 1b-rf||4||2||2||3||Carter 1b||2||0||0||0|
|JMontr dh-1b||4||0||0||0||ClRsms lf||1||0||0||0|
|BMiller cf||4||0||2||0||Conger c||4||1||1||1|
|Sucre c||3||0||0||0||Mrsnck rf||3||0||0||0|
E_N.Cruz (4), Seager (13), Correa (8). DP_Seattle 2, Houston 2. LOB_Seattle 5, Houston 5. 2B_Gattis (17), Lowrie (10). HR_Trumbo 2 (10), Correa (16), Lowrie (6), Conger (9). SB_B.Miller (12), Altuve (35). SF_Gattis.
HBP_by Nuno (Marisnick). WP_Nuno, Keuchel 2.
Umpires_Home, Angel Hernandez; First, Chris Conroy; Second, Ted Barrett; Third, Adam Hamari.
T_2:48. A_19,923 (41,574).
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