BY SPNW Staff 08:43PM 08/31/2015

Game recap: Astros 8, Mariners 3


After Mark Trumbo hit a second-inning, second-deck home run to tie the game 1-1, Houston ripped into Seattle starter Vidal Nuno for three bombs and crushed the Mariners 8-3 Monday night at Minute Maid Park. In 14 meetings between the teams this season, the AL-West-leading Astros have won 10 with an embarrassing 83-50 lead in runs (box score).

Essential moment

In a 1-1 game, the Mariners had an opportunity to make major hay in their half of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs following a single by Kyle Seager, a Nelson Cruz walk, and Robinson Cano’s base hit. But Franklin Gutierrez hit into a double play and Houston starter Dallas Keuchel fanned Trumbo.

Jed Lowrie and Hank Conger belted back-to-back homers in the Houston fourth and the rout was on.


Trumbo also homered in the ninth, the so-what shot coming with Houston leading 8-1. Starting in center in place of the traded Austin Jackson, CF Brad Miller produced Seattle’s only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4. Cano’s streak of consecutive plate appearances reaching base ended at eight when he grounded out in the second inning. Cano is hitting .344 since July 1. The Mariners went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded five. Ketel Marte, not in the starting lineup but inserted at shortstop after Jackson’s trade to the Chicago Cubs, went 0-for-4 with three whiffs.

Houston’s homers: Lowrie and Conger in the fourth and Carlos Correa, a two-run jolt, in the fifth. Lowrie snapped an 0-for-28 streak. Jose Altuve, who had a Houston-record 45 hits in August, had three hits and a stolen base.


Nuno (0-2, 3.75) threw 105 pitches (a season high), allowing five earned runs on seven hits in six innings. He fanned two and walked two, Rob Rasmussen worked two innings of relief and allowed three earned runs. Keuchel, 12-0 at Minute Maid this season, had eight strikeouts in seven innings.


“I thought he (Nuno) threw the ball pretty good for the most part. That two-run homer (Correa) put the game out of reach for us, but he certainly pitched well enough if we had capitalized on some opportunities. We just couldn’t get the one hit we needed to put us over the hump” — Lloyd McClendon, Mariners manager

“It takes away my center fielder, and that’s pretty tough. His performance on the field was what we thought he could bring to the table. It’s a tough loss, but we put ourselves in this position. If we had played in the first half the way we are playing in the second, this wouldn’t have happened” — McClendon, on the trade

“Giving up those home runs killed me a little bit. I just left the ball up, missing with my fastball” — Nuno


The Mariners fell to 61-71, 12 games behind the Astros, and are 2-3 on the 10-game, 11-day road trip . . . In an attempt to keep Felix Hernandez fresh for the final month, McClendon scotched Hernandez’s normal start Monday and scheduled his ace to pitch Saturday in Oakland. Hernandez, 15-6 with a 3.66 ERA, is 3-3 with a 7.12 ERA over his last six starts and is on pace for his eighth consecutive season with at least 200 innings pitched.


The series’ second game is Tuesday at 5:10 p.m., PT. LHP Roenis Elias (4-7, 4.20) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.75).


  • Lodowick

    One of the anomalies for the M’s this year has been the lack of a decent winning streak. They won four games in a row only once, back in May, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to pull that off in September unless they sweep the A’s at home in the last series of the season. I believe they won three games in a row on a few occasions but that’s it. They overrated their pitching staff this year, both starters and relievers. The Big 3 didn’t contribute a lot.

    • Topcatone

      They had that four game streak, were looking confident, and then Rodney blew the lead and streak was over.

      • Lodowick

        It was remarkable how touch and go it was for Rodney last year. How many fortunate situations developed for him. And M’s management read nothing into that. There was no one to fight him for the closer’s role in March, ala the Hawks, no one to push him. Jack just couldn’t see it coming.

        • Rj Smith

          Because that azz clown Trader Jack Z was totally clueless about all players abilities except for a couple pitchers. That guy got fleeced on every single trade. Anybody who thinks the Seth Smith/Brandon Maurer swap was a good one is sadly mistaken. They traded their 2016 closer for a platoon OF with no speed, bad defense & little power. That goof wanted to mortgage the farm for an injured/washed up Matt Kemp, but refused to move Paxton in a deal for David Price, a REAL ACE. Instead we get Austin Jackson, who of course upon arriving in Seattle, forgot how to hit & his speed disappeared. Thanks Trader Jack Z. I really hope he doesn’t get another front office job anywhere, he absolutely destroyed the M’s.

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