Logan Morrison crushed a pair of 418-foot home runs and Mike Montgomery vexed Houston over six innings Saturday in an 8-1 Mariners victory at Minute Maid Park that was nearly a reversal of Seattle’s 10-0 shellacking Friday. The Mariners (28-34) snapped a 20-inning scoreless streak with five runs in the first inning and Montgomery took it from there, limiting the Astros to six hits (box score).
After an RBI single by Nelson Cruz and a sac fly by Kyle Seager that staked Montgomery to a 2-0 lead before he took the mound, Morrison unloaded the first of his bombs, a three-run shot on a hanging breaking ball off loser Collin McHugh.
The two long balls by Morrison marked his third career multi-homer game. His shot in the first was his first since May 12 vs. San Diego. He finished with a career-high-tying five RBIs. Morrison had three chances to hit a third homer, but grounded into a double play, flew out to center and whiffed. The last Mariner with three homers in a game: Jose Lopez, Sept. 22, 2010, at Toronto.
Seth Smith’s second-inning double was his 17th of the season, third in the American League. Five Mariners posted multi-hit games, including Mark Trumbo, now batting .162. C Mike Zunino produced another o-fer (0-for-3) and is hitting .159.
The Mariners entered batting .192 with runners in scoring position and went 3-for-9, stranding eight.
Montgomery, who needed only nine pitches to polish off the Astros in the first, worked six innings for the third consecutive start and earned the first victory of his major league career. He allowed one earned run with four strikeouts and three walks, but threw two wild pitches,
Danny Farquhar, summoned from AAA Tacoma early Saturday when Seattle designated OF Rickie Weeks for assignment, replaced Montgomery in the seventh inning. Farquhar, 0-3, 6.20 in his first stint with the club, threw two scoreless innings.
“We can make a run if we just stay strong and get W’s. It was good to see us come out and put it to them. We’ll come out tomorrow and put it to them again” — Morrison..
“We’ve got to find a killer instinct and give a complete game from an offensive standpoint. We had opportunities today after we scored eight runs and we didn’t do as well as we could have. We still have not strung together a complete game from an offensive standpoint. We’re six games under .500 and nobody is happy with that” — manager Lloyd McClendon
Winning at Minute Maid Park for the first time this season (1-5), the Mariners sliced their AL West deficit to 6.5 games . . . The five runs in the first inning marked a season high for the opening frame . . . The Mariners are 3-2 on the trip through Cleveland, Houston and San Francisco . . . The Mariners poked above .500 vs. the AL West at 14-13 and are 7-10-2 in series played.
The Mariners close out at Houston Sunday with an 11:10 p.m. first pitch. Roenis Elias (3-3, 2.79) will go for Seattle opposite RHP Lance McCullers (2-1, 2.32). The Mariners then begin the first of four — two at San Francisco, two at Safeco Field — against the Giants Monday with first pitch at 7:15 p.m. RHP Taijuan Walker (3-6, 5.40) will start against RHP Tim Hudson (4-5, 4.60).