Former Mariner Doug Fister blanked Seattle on two hits over six innings, Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez homered and the Houston Astros ended Seattle’s four-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory Friday night at Minute Maid Park (box). Despite the loss, the first-place Mariners (17-12) remain 1.5 games ahead of Texas, a 5-1 winner over Detroit, in the AL West.
Seattle starter Taijuan Walker (2-2, 1.97) was forced out of the game after two innings due to a neck spasm, which was not considered serious. Fister (3-3, 4.54), who lost to the Mariners 3-2 April 25 at Safeco Field largely due to seven walks, allowed three runs on three hits and walked two.
Houston carried a 5-0 lead into the seventh, but Seattle got three back on a bases-loaded triple by Ketel Marte.
After Correa (solo) and Gonzalez (two-run) homered off Walker for a 3-0 lead in the second inning, the Astros added two runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Correa and a sacrifice fly by Colby Rasmus. The Mariners collected two hits for the remainder of the game.
The Mariners had five hits, went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded three . . . Marte went 2-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to eight games . . . Kyle Seager, who went 2-for-4, had Seattle’s only other extra base hit, a double in the seventh . . . Robinson Cano went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak against the Astros to 11 games.
Walker lasted only two innings before being replaced by Mayckol Guaipe. Walker allowed three runs and did not record a strikeout or a walk in 35 pitches . . .Guaipe allowed two earned runs on on three hits in three innings . . . Mike Montgomery allowed Houston’s final run, working in relief in the seventh.
“He had a neck spasm. It bothered him coming into today. He went out there and tried to get loose, but it didn’t happen. I thought it was best for his well-being to get him out of there. He tried to gut it out, but it didn’t happen. He slept on it wrong, or whatever. It’s a muscle spasm thing, but he should be fine for his next outing.” — Scott Servais, Mariners manager
“We didn’t do anything at all for the first five innings. We made it interesting, but Fister threw a nice ball game. We hit a lot of balls off the end of the bat,” — Servais
The Mariners missed an opportunity to record their first five-game winning streak since Sept. 1-6, 2015 . . . Even with the loss, the Mariners are 12-5 in their past 17 games, 15-6 in the past 21 and 12-5 on the road, best mark in the American League . . . Mariners are 15-6 since a season-high five-game losing streak . . . Mariners are 3-2 against the Astros this season.
The third of four games in the series is 4:10 p.m. PT Saturday. RHP Nathan Karns (3-1, 3.81) will throw for Seattle opposite LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-4, 5.11). The Mariners conclude their seven-game road trip Sunday in Houston and return to Safeco Field Monday night to face the Tampa Bay Rays.