The lowly Houston Astros (6-14) scored a run on a first-inning outfielder error by Raul Ibanez, had another on a solo homer in the third off Hisashi Iwakuma, and held on to beat the Mariners 3-2 Tuesday night to square a three-game series with Seattle at 1-1. The Mariners (8-14) had been seeking their first back-to-back wins since April 1-2.
The Astros staked starter Bud Norris to a 1-0 lead in the first when Jason Castro drew a two-out walk and scored from first base on a single by Chris Carter when Ibanez mishandled the ball. The Mariners tied it in the second with a single by Dustin Ackley and an Endy Chavez RBI double.
In the third, Houston’s No. 9 hitter, Marwin Gonzalez, homered off Iwakuma about 10 rows into the stands in right field, for a 2-1 lead. The Astros scored again when Iwakuma, suffering his first loss of the season, plunked Justin Maxwell with the bases loaded.
In the eighth inning, Kendrys Morales launched a massive solo home run on a 2-and-1 count. It was Morales’ third homer of the season.
Iwakuma allowed three earned runs on six hits in five innings. He fanned a season-high 11 and walked three. Norris, who had never faced the Mariners and was coming off the shortest stint of his major league career (0.2 innings), allowed one earned run on eight hits.
Seattle had another poor game of situational hitting, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. In a three-game series with Texas to start the current road trip, the Mariners went 1-for-24. The Mariners, 1-4 on the trip, also stranded seven runners.
Kyle Seager went 1-for-3 with a walk to extend his career-high hitting streak to 12 games
The Mariners, who have yet to win a series, close out the set with the Astros Wednesday with an 11:10 a.m. game. Lefty Joe Saunders (1-2, 4.50 ERA) will oppose Lucas Farrell (1-2, 4.98), who hasn’t delivered a quality start since his first outing of the season.
The Mariners begin a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels Thursday at Safeco Field, and the Baltimore Orioles will follow the Angels Monday-Wednesday.