The Mariners are on a run unseen in Seattle in seven years – nine games above .500. After five unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings provided a 5-2 win Wednesday for a three-game sweep of the Astros in Houston, the Mariners also picked up three games in three days on the AL West-leading Oakland A’s. Seattle trails by 4½ games.
After the Astros took a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo home runs off Chris Young — the only hits he gave up in seven innings — Seattle (47-38) rocked the sixth for the second game in a row.
With Houston starter Brad Peacock losing all semblance of command, the Mariners loaded the bases with one out on a single, hit-batter and a walk. Peacock uncorked a wild pitch, allowing James Jones to score and Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager to move up.
Logan Morrison followed with a double down the right-field line to give the M’s a 3-2 lead. Reserve catcher John Buck, starting in place of Mike Zunino, singled home Morrison. Seattle added a run in the seventh when Seager singled home Cano.
Young (8-4, 3.11 ERA) pitched well again, adding another chapter to his comeback story. He struck out a season-high eight and walked one.
In came Danny Farquhar and Yoervis Medina to work a scoreless eighth inning before Fernando Rodney worked a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up an AL-leading 24th save.
The last time the Mariners were as much as nine over .500 was when the 2007 team finished 88-74. Since April 23, the Mariners’ 40-25 record is the best in the majors.
Seattle struggled early against Peacock (2-5, 4.38 ERA), who showed good command of a fastball and his off-speed offerings. But as has been the case over a recent run that has seen 13 wins in 17 games, it was just a matter of time before the offense got going.
Again it started with the rookie Jones. He singled with one out to start the sixth. The M’s were well on their way to their seventh sweep and second consecutive on the road, where they have won six in a row.
Seager posted a second consecutive multi-hit game, batting 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI to move his average up to .283. His former North Carolina Tarheel teammate, Dustin Ackley, who came into Tuesday’s contest mired in an 0-for-21 slump, went 3-for-4 with a double. Since Tuesday, the former second overall pick in the 2009 draft is 6-for-8 with two doubles and an RBI.
Young lowered his opponent average to .206, a mark that ranks in the top five of the AL. A guy originally seen as a stopgap solution on a 45-day contract while Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker returned to health, seems only to be getting better.
His only mistakes became big flies. Marwin Gonzalez yanked a high fastball down the right-field line for his second home run of this series in the third. In the fifth, rookie Kike Hernandez homered to left for his first in his second game in the big leagues.
The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a three-game series with the White Sox in Chicago.