Houston led 11-0 before the Mariners had a hit, never mind a run — that despite the fact the Mariners received leadoff walks to start the second through the fourth innings. Another Seattle debacle, coming two days after a 10-0 shellacking, ended with a near-record 13-0 defeat Sunday at Minute Maid Park. The Astros didn’t require anywhere near 13 runs since Seattle scratched out only two hits. Houston could have won 2-0 merely on the basis of scoring twice on bases-loaded walks (box score).
After pushing across three runs in the first and two in the third, the Astros erupted for five in the fourth for a 10-0 lead. At that point, Houston’s Evan Gattis was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, more than enough to beat the Mariners all by himself. By the time 29,153 filed out of Minute Maid Park, the Astros, with 14 hits, including a 4-for-4 by Gattis, scored in every inning except the second and seventh.
The Mariners (28-35), losers of four of their past six, didn’t get their first hit until Austin Jackson opened the sixth with a double to left.Kyle Seager collected Seattle’s only other hit, a single in the seventh. Robinson Cano went 0-for-3 before he was lifted for Willie Bloomquist and is hitting .237.
Logan Morrison went 0-for-4, snapping a streak of 18 consecutive career games of hitting safely at Minute Maid Park. The Mariners have been outscored 48-23 at Minute Maid this season.
Elias never got going, consistently falling behind hitters (six of 23 first-pitch strikes) and allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 3.1 innings. Elias fanned two and walked four in his worst start of the year. His ERA jumped from 2.79 to 3.67.
Three of Seattle’s latest four starting pitchers — J.A. Happ (2.1), Felix Hernandez (0.1) and Elias (3.1) have worked a combined total of 5.2 innings. Through five, Elias, Danny Farquhar and Mark Lowe went to full counts on 16 batters.
The Mariners optioned Farquhar, who allowed two runs on two hits after replacing Elias, back to AAA Tacoma immediately after the game. They will make a corresponding roster move before meeting the Giants Monday. Houston starter Lance McCullers had a no-hitter through five, but left after throwing 90 pitches.
“He just didn’t have much command. It was a tough day in a lot of different ways. His fastball wasn’t there and his breaking ball wasn’t there. He didn’t have much” — Lloyd McClendon on starting pitcher Roenis Elias.
The 13-run defeat came within two of matching the worst loss in franchise history, 15-0 to Minnesota in 1977. Twice previously the Mariners lost 13-0 . . . With the defeat, the Mariners fell 7.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West . . . The Mariners are 3-3 on the road trip, 14-14 against the AL West, including 2-8 against the division-leading Astros, and 7-11-2 in series played . . . Since the Mariners reached .500 May 29 (24-24), they are 4-11 . . . The Mariners held Mark Trumbo out with back spasms. He was originally slated to start, but was scratched and his status is day-to-day.
The Mariners launch a four-game set with the San Francisco Giants with the first two at AT&T Park and the final two at Safeco Field. Taijuan Walker (3-6, 5.40) will toss for the Mariners Monday (first pitch 7:15 p.m.) against RHP Tim Hudson (4-5, 4.60).