Astros hit Seattle's 'opener,' and hold on to win 4-2
The Seattle Mariners haven't employed the "opener" too many times — starting a reliever on the mound and letting him pitch for an inning or two. On Monday, it didn't work as Houston scored three runs in an inning off Cory Gearrin.
Starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc took over in the second inning and pitched eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball. But, the damage had been done, and Houston held on for a 4-2 win at T-Mobile Park.
Josh Reddick had an RBI triple, Yuli Gurriel an RBI groundout and Robinson Chirinos a solo homer for a first-inning, 3-0 lead off Gearrin.
Homers by Edwin Encarnacion and Mallex Smith narrowed the deficit to 3-2 in the third inning.
And, LeBlanc held the Astros. But, Houston added an insurance run on Gurriel's fielder's choice grounder in the sixth inning.
Framber Valdez, Chris Devenski and Ryan Pressly combined to give up three hits in six innings in relief for Houston.
Houston, the American League West Division leader, moved to 41-20. The last-place team, Seattle, dipped to 25-38.
The second game of the four-game series is 7 p.m. Tuesday. A Seattle starter to be determined will face off against Houston's Wade Miley (5-3, 3.25).
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