BY SPNW Staff 11:22PM 06/19/2015

Game recap: Mariners 5, Astros 2

Roenis Elias was dominant — two runs, four hits, 10 strikeouts and no walks over seven innings — and Robinson Cano had three hits to stifle the Astros Friday night.

Roenis Elias had 10 strikeouts and no walks against the Astros. / Alan Chitlik


Robinson Cano (three for four, two runs scored) made a triumphant return and lefty starter Roenis Elias bounced back from a horrific outing in Houston to beat the Astros 5-2 Friday night at Safeco (box score). The five runs were the most the Mariners have scored in an Elias start.

Essential moment

The Mariners finally scored twice in the first inning despite going 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. Go figure. That was enough on a night when Elias was so good.


Elias was much better than his last start, which also came against the Astros six days earlier. He allowed home runs on his first (to George Springer) and final (to Marwin Gonzalez, in the eighth) pitches but was almost unhittable between. Only four hits allowed over seven innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Fill-in closer Carson Smith continues to make Fernando Rodney seem like a bad dream.


With Cano and Kyle Seager back in the lineup, the Mariners chased Houston starter Lance McCullers in the fifth. Getting three RBIs from RF Mark Trumbo was a pleasant surprise after the former Diamondback had driven in just one run over his first 44 at-bats as a Mariner. Cano and Seager (an RBI single in the fifth after stranding five runners over the first three innings) were contributors after sitting out Thursday’s 7-0 loss.


“He’s a tough cookie. He came over on a boat; don’t think (the Astros) are going to intimidate him.”  Manager Lloyd McClendon on Roenis Elias facing a Houston team that shelled him for eight runs and seven hits  Sunday.


Cano (stiff back) and 3B Kyle Seager (flu-like symptoms) were back Friday after missing one game . . . Houston’s McCullers was facing Seattle for the second time in six days, having thrown five shutout innings in a 13-0 win over Seattle Sunday . . . Jose Altuve, Houston’s All-Star second baseman, was not in the lineup Friday because he’s been dealing with a sore hamstring.


Even when RHP Taijuan Walker was struggling, he always gave the Astros his best stuff. But Houston finally solved the 22-year-old starter the last time out, tagging Walker for nine hits and eight runs in three innings. Walker (4-6, 5.00 ERA) has found his rhythm since that May 2 start and hopes to have better success Saturday, when he’ll face Houston and ace LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-2, 2.04 ERA).



  • Rj Smith

    So the M’s have another 1 game win streak! Mr single Cano had 3 hits! The M’s actually scored 5 runs! I expect reality to set back in when Keuchel shuts them out over 8 innings & Cano goes 0 for 3, beginning another 2 for 25 slump & another M’s streak of losing 7 of 10.

    • RadioGuy

      If the Mariners cause you nothing but deep hostility, what’s your benefit from following them? If one team brings me nothing but aggravation even when they win, I’m finding another team to follow. In fact, I’ve done just that with a summer college league team and I don’t even hate the M’s.

  • jafabian

    Cano was going to come around at some point. Hopefully this is that time. I’m also wondering if the players are starting to get more defined roles on the team. Trumbo as the DH let’s Cruz be a full time OF which he prefers. LoMo seems to have settled in as the leadoff hitter and Jackson at #2. Ackley seems to have accepted being a utility player. If they can make it to the All-Star Break at five games or less under .500 or even beng over .500 then they make a solid run in the second half.

    • Long-Time Mariners Fan

      Cano coming around? I would wait for him to have a string of 10 to 12 decent games before I would call that. But having the line-up gel is a good thing – players know what their roles are and can come to the ballpark knowing that every day. I never would have thought to put LoMo in the leadoff position, but if it works, go with it. And having Jackson’s glove in center field every night pays off, mightily.

      We have been, as Lloyd has said, “treading water” around the 6-7 games below .500 mark. There are 13 games from today until July 4th, the mathematical half-way point (81 games.) During this upcoming stretch, we play the Astros (2) and the Angels (3) – prime time to make up ground in the division. We play the defending AL champs (and 2015 AL All-Star squad – ha) at home – prime time to make some noise and show how we can/should really play. Every game is in this timezone – no excuses for long travel.

      Good teams know when to put the foot on the gas and bear down. GREAT teams know that your foot must be on the gas (heavily, lightly, in-between) every single game – every game is an opportunity to win. That’s how teams make the playoffs and win in the playoffs.