09/18 23:14 CDT Gonzalez's homer helps Astros down Mariners 7-0
Gonzalez's homer helps Astros down Mariners 7-0
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) --- If rookie Josh James keeps throwing this way, he might just
pitch himself onto Houston's postseason roster.
James (1-0) struck out seven and scattered four hits over 5 1/3 innings to help
the Astros to a 7-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night for his
first major league win.
It was just the second start and fourth career appearance for the 25-year-old
James, who made his debut on Sept. 1. He has a 2.81 ERA with 24 strikeouts.
"I'm really impressed by how he's handling it," manager AJ Hinch said. "There's
no panic in him. And that pays dividends moving forward when we're starting to
make decisions. Of course, he's factoring in."
James said he isn't focused right now on whether he'll get to pitch for the
Astros in October.
"I'm just trying to contribute and pitch as well as I can," he said.
"Postseason roster's really not on my mind right now. I just really want to
Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in a four-run third for the Astros. Four
relievers completed the shutout.
Houston, which eliminated the Mariners from contention for the AL West title
with the victory, entered the day four games ahead of Oakland atop the division
standings. The Athletics played later against the Angels.
Seattle starter Mike Leake (10-10) yielded six hits and five runs in 6 1/3
innings to snap a two-game winning streak.
"Mike Leake for the most part threw the ball really well," manager Scott
Servais said. "It was that one inning. Seems to be the story of his season, and
the games we don't come back and win, it's usually that one inning that gets
Leake plunked Brian McCann to start the third before Tony Kemp doubled. The
Astros took a 1-0 lead when George Springer hit an RBI single, and Springer
reached second on the play thanks to an error by left fielder Denard Span. Kemp
scored on a groundout by Jose Altuve to make it 2-0.
There were two outs in the inning when Gonzalez sent a drive to left-center
that was originally ruled a double. But a replay review revealed it was a
homer, pushing Houston's lead to 4-0.
The Mariners couldn't get much going against James. He walked Chris Hermann
with no outs in the third before a one-out single by Mitch Haniger. After a
short mound visit, James retired the next two batters to end the threat. He
allowed a double to Robinson Cano to start the sixth before striking out Nelson
Cruz with his final pitch.
Cano doubled twice and tied a season high with three hits, but the rest of the
team managed only three hits on a night when the Mariners went 0 for 9 with
runners in scoring position.
The Astros padded their lead in the seventh when Yuli Gurriel doubled with one
out and scored on a single by McCann. Houston added two more runs in the
eighth, with the first one coming when Tyler White's fly to left-center dropped
right in between Span and Dee Gordon for a double.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton played catch but was not quite ready to throw a
bullpen as he continues to build strength after recovering from the flu and
pneumonia. ... RHP Felix Hernandez (hamstring) is doing better and is expected
to rejoin the team Friday before the start of a series against the Rangers.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr., on the disabled list since Aug. 5 with a
strained right forearm, threw a simulated game and will throw another one
Friday or Saturday. The Astros hope he'll be able to return before the end of
the regular season.
MAKE IT A DOUBLE
Cano's two doubles gave him 530 for his career to move him into 40th place on
the all-time list.
"Robbie's been out there a long time. It's kind of part of his game, is the
extra-base hit and getting the doubles," Servais said. "A couple of those
tonight, great to see he swung the bat very well."
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (11-10, 3.57 ERA), who has won his last two
decisions, will start for the Astros when the series concludes Wednesday. The
Mariners hadn't announced their starter, but Servais said it will be a bullpen
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports