SEATTLE (AP) — JP Crawford’s two-out, three-run double tied Seattle, Jose Caballero followed up two batters later with a two-run double, and the Mariners scored seven times in the eighth inning for a 7 win. -5 over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
Blocked for the first seven innings by Houston starter JP France and two relievers, the Mariners broke out against Astros relievers Rafael Montero and Ryne Stanek, with all the damage to come with two outs.
Seattle’s rally started when Eugenio Suárez walked 3-2 with two outs. Cal Raleigh hit a check-swing dribbler that barely got past the mound and Teoscar Hernández’s ground down the hole at shortstop charged the bases.
Crawford got the count in his favor and lined up a 3-1 fastball against the wall in right-center field clearing the bases. Stanek replaced Montero (0-1) and walked pinch hitter Taylor Trammell before Caballero lined up a shot into left center field space. Caballero had replaced Kolten Wong earlier in the match after he appeared to be injured while making a diving save on the field.
Julio Rodríguez and Jarred Kelenic also added RBI singles. In total, the Mariners sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning and had seven hits with two out.
Taylor Saucedo (1-0) pitched the eighth inning for the Mariners and picked up the upset victory. Houston’s Jake Meyers scored a two-run brace against Paul Sewald in the ninth, but Mauricio Dubón struck to end it.
The late rally ruined what seemed like a storybook start for France. The 28-year-old made his major league debut by pitching five shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out five.
Seattle starter Marco Gonzales pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out four. Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Peña had two RBI hits and Kyle Tucker added a sacrificial fly.
FRANCE v. FRANCE
With Seattle hitter Ty France and Houston pitcher JP France going head-to-head, it was the first time since 1997 that a hitter and pitcher faced off and both shared the same last name as a country. by sailorsthe last time this happened was September 10, 1997 when Ricardo Jordan threw at Kevin Jordan during a game between the Mets and Phillies.
Ty France had two hits against JP France.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve hit the field during batting practice for the first time since breaking his right thumb in the World Baseball Classic. … RHP Ronel Blanco was chosen for Triple A Sugar Land to clear a roster spot for France. The Astros intend to stretch Blanco and work as a starter in the minors.
Mariners: Wong appeared to be rocked on a diving save in the top of the fifth and pulled out late in the inning. … Seattle placed right-handed reliever Penn Murfee on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right elbow in hopes a few days off would be enough. RHP Juan Then was recalled from Double-A Arkansas and pitched a perfect seventh inning in his major league debut.
UP NEXT Astros: RHP Brandon Bielak (0-0, 4.50) will make his first start of the season after coming on as relief last Monday following the injury to Luis Garcia. It will be his ninth career start and the first since September 24, 2021.
Mariners: RHP Bryce Miller (0-0, 1.50) makes his second start after going six innings allowing a run and striking out 10 against Oakland in his debut. ___
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