SEATTLE ( Associated Press) — Rookie Julio Rodriguez hit the first of four Seattle home runs off Houston ace Justin Verlander as the Mariners beat the Astros 6-1 on Friday night.
Rodriguez, Kyle Lewis, Ty France and Taylor Trammel all walked away from Verlander, tying their career highs for allowed homers at a start. Verlander (6-2) entered the season with seven earned runs in 51 2/3 innings and smashed the Mariners for a six through a long ball.
Rodriguez started the Mariners in the first innings with a two-run contrast field homer that he had seen from Verlander. After four at-bats, Lewis unloaded with his first season, which was also a two-run homer. Lewis’ long ball was estimated at 441 feet and was his first since May 28 last year before suffering a knee injury that required surgery and forced the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year to miss the rest of the season did.
France added a single homer in their seventh third of the season, and Trammel barely cleared the fence in the right-central field in the sixth inning.
Seattle’s 10 hits were the most allowed by Verlander since April 15, 2017, when he still pitched for Detroit. The six runs earned was the most allowed since 2018 when Verlander also conceded six runs to the Mariners.
Verlander started the night with a scoreless streak in 19 innings – one of the best innings of his career – and a major league-leading 1.22 ERA. The scoreless streak ended after three batsmen, and their ERA ended the night at 2.03.
Seattle’s Chris Flexon, on the other hand, bowled a gem while rebounding from three consecutive shaky outings. Flexon (2-6) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings with six strikes. Flexon has scored five earned runs in 18 innings in three starts against Houston this season.
Houston’s lone run came in the second innings at the choice of a fielder Jose Siri. Houston was stopped for three or fewer runs for the seventh time in 11 matches.
Verlander allowed four homers in a game twice while pitching for Detroit—both against Cleveland in 2006 and 2016—and once with the Astros against the Tigers on July 15, 2018.
Seattle selected the contract of LHP Roennis Elias from Triple-A Tacoma and named RHP Riley O’Brien for the assignment. Seattle had an open roster spot after picking struggling reliever Drew Steckenraider for Tacoma on Thursday. Steckenrider was one of Seattle’s top relievers a year ago but is 0-2 with a 5.65 ERA.
This is Elias’ second stint with the Mariners this season.
Mariners: RHP Ken Giles (finger) is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon with a mix of Tacoma and Class-A Everett. … RHP Eric Swanson (elbow) could throw a mound before the end of the weekend and be sent to rehab work next week. …INF Abraham Toro (Shoulder) should be ready to come out of the 10-day IL if eligible next week.
Astros: RHP Jose Urquidi (4-1, 2.94) is on his way to his best start of the season, conceding 6 2/3 innings and 10 dismissals in a win over the Texans.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (4-2, 2.60) looks to throw at least seven innings for a third straight start. Gilbert conceded three runs for five hits on his last start against Boston and made no decision.
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