Houston's big seventh inning dooms Mariners, 7-1

SEATTLE (AP) Houston manager A.J. Hinch warns that ''rough patches'' on offense don't stick around the Astros too long.

After scoring just six runs total in its past three games, Houston put away the Mariners with a six-run seventh inning, leading to a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.

Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (2-0) struck out five, ending a string of double-digit strikeout games at three. He gave up just an unearned run in his fourth consecutive seven-inning start to begin his career in the American League.

The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in their biggest-scoring inning of the season off Mariners starter Mike Leake and relievers Nick Vincent and James Pazos.

The first five Houston batters reached against Leake (2-1), starting with Josh Reddick's leadoff walk. After Yuli Gurriel hit a double in the left-field corner, Marwin Gonzalez followed by lining Leake's first pitch to center field for a two-run single that gave the Astros a 3-1 lead.

''As the game went on, our at-bats got better and better, which is encouraging,'' Hinch said. ''We have an explosive offense.''

Brian McCann doubled to deep right center, and Houston grabbed a 4-1 lead on a fielding error by right fielder Mitch Haniger, who got a late jump on Evan Gattis' shallow fly ball.

Two batters later, George Springer hit a two-run double off Vincent that caromed off the right-center wall, and Houston had a 6-1 lead.

''We are going to score some runs,'' said Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, the AL's reigning most valuable player. ''That is what I like about this team - we make everything possible to score runs.''

Houston led the major leagues last season with 896 runs.

''It was coming, and there is more to come,'' Hinch said. ''We are a good offensive team. We get frustrated because we have high standards and we have a lot of high expectations. There is not a lot of panic.''

Now it is the Mariners' offense that has stalled a bit, scoring five runs in the past four games. Seattle has scored just one run against Houston pitching in back-to-back games. Robinson Cano's RBI single in the third inning Wednesday tied the game at 1-1.

''Our bats have . cooled off,'' Seattle manager Scott Servais said. ''You've got to give some credit to their pitching and how they've attacked us. Hopefully, we will get after them (Thursday) and split the series, and go out on the road.''

CLUBHOUSE BIRD

The Mariners have a new decoration in their clubhouse near James Paxton's locker: A stuffed-animal bald eagle.

During a pre-game ceremony April 5 in Minnesota, Paxton stood on the mound before his first road start when a live trained bald eagle tried to land on the pitcher's shoulder instead of the infield grass, causing a few seconds of heart-thumping uncertainty.

Teammates apparently are not going to let Paxton forget that moment, because it was third baseman Kyle Seager, along with bench coach Manny Acta, who spotted the toy eagle in the grandstands of Safeco Field during batting practice Tuesday.

Seager traded a signed Paxton jersey for the furry bird. It was hanging up in the clubhouse later that night grasping a baseball in its talons.

''The guys are having a little fun with it,'' Servais said.

And Paxton?

''No, I think it is cool,'' he said.

RACKING UP STRIKEOUTS

After Lance McCullers Jr. struck out 11 in Houston's 4-1 win Tuesday, it marked the seventh double-digit strikeout game by an Astros' starter this season.

That is the most by a single team through 18 games in major league history. The previous record was six, set by the 1966 Cleveland Indians and 1973 California Angels.

''I know we have an elite starting pitcher every night, and that helps,'' Hinch said. ''We are a difficult team to match up with . because of the different styles we have, and the power.''

IN AND OUT OF LINEUP

Astros: Third baseman Alex Bregman (three hits in past 21 at-bats) and outfielder Jake Marisnick (10 strikeouts in past 13 hitless at-bats) were out of the starting lineup Wednesday. Hinch said he will get more of his regulars days off in the coming weeks.

Mariners: To make room for outfielder Ben Gamel (strained right oblique) on Wednesday, LHP Ariel Miranda was sent to Triple-A Tacoma. Gamel batted seventh in his first game back, and will get the most time against right-handed pitching, Servais said.

When Seattle needs a fifth starter Sunday in Texas, is will be RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who will make his season debut.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: McCann (right hand) felt a little sore the day after being hit on the knuckles by a Wade LeBlanc pitch Tuesday night, but was back behind the plate Wednesday, batting seventh.

Mariners: Catcher Mike Zunino (oblique) made his final rehab appearance Wednesday at Single-A Modesto. He is expected to join the big club Friday in Texas. . First baseman Ryon Healy (sprained ankle) is finishing up a running program, and is expected to go out on rehab assignment after the Mariners go on the road Friday.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (2-0, 1.00 ERA) has logged six innings in each of his first three starts, all at home. This is his first road start of 2018. He pitched last April at Safeco Field (five innings pitched, three earns runs), taking a loss. In fact, he went 1-2 in four starts against Seattle last season.

Mariners: After winning his first start in San Francisco on April 3, LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1, 8.25 ERA) has not gotten past the fourth inning in either one of his past two starts.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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123456789RHE
HOU12-7
0100006007121
SEA9-7
001000000151
  • W: G. Cole (2-0)L: M. Leake (2-1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF41220000.227.318.440.7587.0
J. Altuve 2B50200012.320.373.347.7201.5
C. Correa SS50210011.297.351.484.8363.5
J. Reddick RF41000124.250.379.458.8381.0
Y. Gurriel 1B41100023.250.269.500.7692.0
M. Gonzalez 3B42220011.186.290.288.5785.5
B. McCann C41210000.351.467.486.9536.0
E. Gattis DH41100012.214.302.304.6052.5
D. Fisher LF40000023.125.171.250.421-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    D. Gordon CF41200010.313.343.388.7314.5
    J. Segura SS40000012.284.314.418.732-0.5
    R. Cano 2B40110001.327.470.462.9312.0
    N. Cruz DH40000012.160.192.520.712-0.5
    K. Seager 3B40000020.250.292.467.759-1.0
    M. Haniger RF30100010.259.359.500.8592.5
    B. Gamel LF20000111.000.333.000.3332.5
    D. Vogelbach 1B20000101.229.325.457.7821.0
    D. Freitas C20100010.280.357.400.7570.5
    a- I. Suzuki PH10000000.212.212.212.4240.0
    M. Marjama C00000000.111.172.222.3950.0
    • a-grounded out for Freitas in the 8th
    BATTING
    • 2B - G. Springer (4), C. Correa (6), Y. Gurriel (3), B. McCann 2 (2), E. Gattis (5)
    • RBI - G. Springer 2 (12), C. Correa (13), M. Gonzalez 2 (7), B. McCann (4)
    • 2-Out RBI - B. McCann
    BATTING
    • RBI - R. Cano (6)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - D. Gordon (8), M. Haniger, B. Gamel
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - J. Reddick (2)
    • E - G. Cole
    FIELDING
    • E - M. Haniger (2)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    G. Cole (W, 2-0)7.05102500.960.7526.5
    J. Smith1.00000104.761.413.5
    C. McHugh1.00000201.170.914.0
    PITCHERSIP
    G. Cole (W, 2-0)7.0
    J. Smith1.0
    C. McHugh1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Leake (L, 2-1)6.07551704.501.333.5
    N. Vincent0.13210105.141.57-3.5
    J. Pazos1.21000203.381.313.0
    C. Bradford1.01000001.170.912.0
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Leake (L, 2-1)6.0
    N. Vincent0.1
    J. Pazos1.2
    C. Bradford1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - G. Cole 95-60, J. Smith 11-10, C. McHugh 18-15
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Cole 6-8, J. Smith 1-1
    • Batters Faced - G. Cole 26, J. Smith 3, C. McHugh 3
    PITCHING
    • HBP - M. Leake
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Leake 84-54, N. Vincent 16-9, J. Pazos 21-16, C. Bradford 24-16
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Leake 5-4, J. Pazos 1-2, C. Bradford 1-2
    • Batters Faced - M. Leake 25, N. Vincent 5, J. Pazos 6, C. Bradford 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    HOU12-7
    0100006007121
    SEA9-7
    001000000151
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF41220000.227.318.440.7587.0
    J. Altuve 2B50200012.320.373.347.7201.5
    C. Correa SS50210011.297.351.484.8363.5
    J. Reddick RF41000124.250.379.458.8381.0
    Y. Gurriel 1B41100023.250.269.500.7692.0
    M. Gonzalez 3B42220011.186.290.288.5785.5
    B. McCann C41210000.351.467.486.9536.0
    E. Gattis DH41100012.214.302.304.6052.5
    D. Fisher LF40000023.125.171.250.421-1.0
    Total387126011016-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      D. Gordon CF41200010.313.343.388.7314.5
      J. Segura SS40000012.284.314.418.732-0.5
      R. Cano 2B40110001.327.470.462.9312.0
      N. Cruz DH40000012.160.192.520.712-0.5
      K. Seager 3B40000020.250.292.467.759-1.0
      M. Haniger RF30100010.259.359.500.8592.5
      B. Gamel LF20000111.000.333.000.3332.5
      D. Vogelbach 1B20000101.229.325.457.7821.0
      D. Freitas C20100010.280.357.400.7570.5
      a- I. Suzuki PH10000000.212.212.212.4240.0
      M. Marjama C00000000.111.172.222.3950.0
      Total301510287-----
      • a-grounded out for Freitas in the 8th
      BATTING
      • 2B - G. Springer (4), C. Correa (6), Y. Gurriel (3), B. McCann 2 (2), E. Gattis (5)
      • RBI - G. Springer 2 (12), C. Correa (13), M. Gonzalez 2 (7), B. McCann (4)
      • 2-Out RBI - B. McCann
      BATTING
      • RBI - R. Cano (6)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - D. Gordon (8), M. Haniger, B. Gamel
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - J. Reddick (2)
      • E - G. Cole
      FIELDING
      • E - M. Haniger (2)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      G. Cole (W, 2-0)7.05102500.960.7526.5
      J. Smith1.00000104.761.413.5
      C. McHugh1.00000201.170.914.0
      Total9.0510280---
      PITCHERSIP
      G. Cole (W, 2-0)7.0
      J. Smith1.0
      C. McHugh1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Leake (L, 2-1)6.07551704.501.333.5
      N. Vincent0.13210105.141.57-3.5
      J. Pazos1.21000203.381.313.0
      C. Bradford1.01000001.170.912.0
      Total9.012761100---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Leake (L, 2-1)6.0
      N. Vincent0.1
      J. Pazos1.2
      C. Bradford1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - G. Cole 95-60, J. Smith 11-10, C. McHugh 18-15
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Cole 6-8, J. Smith 1-1
      • Batters Faced - G. Cole 26, J. Smith 3, C. McHugh 3
      PITCHING
      • HBP - M. Leake
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Leake 84-54, N. Vincent 16-9, J. Pazos 21-16, C. Bradford 24-16
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Leake 5-4, J. Pazos 1-2, C. Bradford 1-2
      • Batters Faced - M. Leake 25, N. Vincent 5, J. Pazos 6, C. Bradford 4
      • 7TH INNING
        Correa singled to left, Springer scored, Altuve to third71
        Springer doubled to deep right center, McCann and Gattis scored61
        Gattis safe at first on right fielder Haniger fielding error, Gonzalez scored, McCann to third, Gattis to second41
        Gonzalez singled to center, Reddick and Gurriel scored31
      • 3RD INNING
        Cano singled to center, Gordon scored11
      • 2ND INNING
        McCann doubled to deep left, Gonzalez scored10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Chasen Bradford relieved James Pazos
        • Mike Marjama catching
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Springer flied out to center
        • J. Altuve: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Altuve singled to right
        • Ca. Correa: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Correa grounded out to first, Altuve to second
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Reddick fouled out to third
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Collin McHugh relieved Joe Smith
        • R. Cano: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Cano flied out to center
        • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Cruz struck out swinging
        • K. Seager: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Seager struck out swinging
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • J. Pazos Pitching:
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Gonzalez flied out to right
        • B. McCann: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, McCann flied out to left
        • E. Gattis: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Gattis doubled to deep right center
        • D. Fisher: Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Fisher struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Joe Smith relieved Gerrit Cole
        • Ichiro Suzuki hit for David Freitas
        • I. Suzuki: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Suzuki grounded out to first
        • D. Gordon: Strike looking, Foul, Gordon flied out to shallow left
        • J. Segura: Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Segura struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Reddick walked
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Foul, Gurriel doubled to deep left, Reddick to third
        • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez singled to center, Reddick and Gurriel scored
        • B. McCann: McCann doubled to deep right center, Gonzalez to third
        • Nick Vincent relieved Mike Leake
        • E. Gattis: Ball, Ball, Gattis safe at first on right fielder Haniger fielding error, Gonzalez scored, McCann to third, Gattis to second
        • D. Fisher: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Fisher struck out looking
        • G. Springer: Ball, Strike swinging, Springer doubled to deep right center, McCann and Gattis scored
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Altuve reached on an infield single to shortstop, Springer to third
        • Ca. Correa: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Correa singled to left, Springer scored, Altuve to third
        • James Pazos relieved Nick Vincent
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Reddick struck out looking
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Gurriel grounded into fielder's choice to second, Correa out at second
        • Middle of the 7th (6 Runs, 6 Hits, 1 Error)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • M. Haniger: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Haniger struck out looking
        • B. Gamel: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gamel grounded out to third
        • D. Vogelbach: Vogelbach grounded out to second
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Springer hit by pitch
        • J. Altuve: Altuve grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Springer out at second
        • Ca. Correa: Correa flied out to deep right
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • R. Cano: Foul, Ball, Ball, Cano fouled out to left
        • N. Cruz: Ball, Ball, Cruz flied out to left
        • K. Seager: Foul, Ball, Seager grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • B. McCann: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, McCann grounded out to first
        • E. Gattis: Gattis grounded out to second
        • D. Fisher: Strike looking, Fisher grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • D. Freitas: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Freitas struck out swinging
        • D. Gordon: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
        • J. Segura: Ball, Segura flied out to deep left
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • Ca. Correa: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Correa doubled to deep right center
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gurriel struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • K. Seager: Strike looking, Foul, Seager flied out to deep right
        • M. Haniger: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Haniger singled to right center
        • B. Gamel: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Haniger stole second, Foul tip, Gamel struck out on foul tip
        • D. Vogelbach: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Vogelbach flied out to left
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • D. Fisher: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Fisher lined out to center
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Springer flied out to deep center
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • D. Gordon: Ball, Gordon reached on an infield single to pitcher, Gordon to second on Cole fielding error
        • J. Segura: Strike looking, Segura grounded out to shortstop, Gordon to third
        • R. Cano: Foul, Cano singled to center, Gordon scored
        • N. Cruz: Ball, Cruz grounded into double play third to second to first, Cano out at second
        • End of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 2ND INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball, Reddick popped out to second
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Gurriel struck out looking
        • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez singled to left
        • B. McCann: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, McCann doubled to deep left, Gonzalez scored
        • E. Gattis: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gattis struck out looking
        • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • K. Seager: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Seager struck out swinging
        • M. Haniger: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Haniger flied out to shallow center
        • B. Gamel: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Gamel walked
        • D. Vogelbach: Foul, Ball, Ball, Gamel stole second, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Vogelbach walked
        • D. Freitas: Strike looking, Freitas singled to right, Gamel out at home, Vogelbach to second
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • M. Leake Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Ball, Strike looking, Springer singled to deep center
        • J. Altuve: Altuve grounded into double play third to second to first, Springer out at second
        • Ca. Correa: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Cole Pitching:
        • D. Gordon: Ball, Gordon singled to center
        • J. Segura: Segura flied out to deep center
        • R. Cano: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gordon stole second, Cano grounded out to first, Gordon to third
        • N. Cruz: Cruz fouled out to first
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)