The Mariners (10-12) wasted a bounce-back start from LHP James Paxton, an early 2-0 lead and numerous chances against RHP Scott Feldman Thursday in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park (box score). It snapped Seattle’s season-high three-game winning streak, while Houston (15-7) won its seventh in a row.
In the 10th, Mariners killer Jose Altuve lined an RBI single off the left-field scoreboard to drive in the winning run. The clincher came after Marwin Gonzalez hit a one-out double off reliever Dominic Leone and Colby Rasmus followed with a walk.
Paxton (0-2) had easily his best start of the season, but still hasn’t picked up a win. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over a season-high seven innings while striking out seven. It dropped his ERA more than a run — to 5.74 — but he had to settle for the no-decision. Leone (0-2) was tagged with the loss.
CF Austin Jackson, batting second, led the Mariners with three hits and two stolen bases, while RF Seth Smith chipped in two hits in his second game at leadoff.
3B Kyle Seager had an RBI single in the first. 2B Robinson Cano snapped an 0-for-18 streak with a 2-for-5 night, but the Mariners offense was otherwise punchless.
Tied at 2 in the ninth, the Mariners blew a great chance to score the go-ahead run when LF Dustin Ackley, who finished 1-for-4, struck out against southpaw Tony Sipp with Logan Morrison on third base after the lumbering first baseman advanced on a passed ball. Mike Zunino popped out to end the threat.
“We didn’t play very well tonight,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It was one of those games that looked extremely close because we kept it close. We had some opportunities to put runs on the board and we didn’t do it. Those things happen, but you gotta move on.”
Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, on the 15-day disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow, will throw a 25-pitch bullpen Friday. The hope is he can return to the big leagues by mid-May . . . Since the Astros joined the AL West, the Mariners are 21-21 against Houston, 1-3 this season. Houston is 15-7, first in the division . . . Reliever Carson Smith pitched a scoreless eighth inning to set the club record for consecutive shutout frames (18.1) to start a career. The previous club record was held by reliever Mark Lowe (2006) . . . The Astros lead the Mariners by five games.
LHP Roenis Elias (0-0, 3.18 ERA) will make his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma after RHP Hisashi Iwakuma landed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle. In his first outing, Elias allowed two runs in 5.2 innings as he picked up the no-decision in a 4-2 loss to the Twins. He faces Houston’s Sam Deduno (0-0, 2.89 ERA) at 5:10 p.m PT in the second of a four-game set.