Much like the Houston Astros (35-28) on Friday night, the Seattle Mariners (28-34) got the bats going early in the game against Collin McHugh. Seattle struck for five runs on five hits in the first inning, capped off by a Logan Morrison three-run homer. Astros manager A.J. Hinch spoke about the long inning and his starter after the game, “They put up a big number right away and they got offensive. They put 12 baserunners in the first three innings and eight of them scored. It was a difficult day for him.” Hinch also spoke about how important the first Morrison home run was to the story of the game, “He’s (McHugh) almost out of that inning with a two run inning and all of a sudden it turns into a five run inning.”
The Mariners struck for three more in the third, including another homer (2-run shot) from Morrison, to extend their lead to 8-0. McHugh gave way to the bullpen in the fourth inning after giving up eight runs on nine hits through three full innings. Roberto Hernandez had one of his best outings of the year coming on in relief of McHugh. Hinch echoed those thoughts after the game, “Roberto did a good job. He needed to be in there as long as he could, and he could have gone longer. He did a terrific job of bridging that gap and saving the rest of the pen. Both his slider and his change-up were good. He fed off of their aggressiveness, when they were trying to pile on extra runs.”
Seattle starter Mike Montgomery (1-1) pitched 6 innings and allowed 1 run on 6 hits and striking out 4 in his first win of the season. The offensive leader in the game was Morrison with two homers and five RBI in the series tying win. Eight of nine hitters in the lineup for Seattle had at least one hit, the only starter without one being catcher Mike Zunino.
The lone Houston score came in the sixth inning on back-to-back doubles by Jason Castro and George Springer. Springer went 2-4 with a double and an RBI in the contest and Castro was 2-2 with a walk and a run scored in the loss.
The rubber match between the Astros and Mariners will be played on Sunday at 1:10 at Minute Maid Park. Probables on the mound are Lance McCullers (2-1, 2.32ERA) and Roenis Elias (3-3, 2.79ERA.) Astros second basemen Jose Altuve is still listed as day-to-day but has not yet been ruled out for Sunday’s game.