Final Score: Seattle 3, Houston 1
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Saunders drove in the go-ahead runs with an infield hit in the seventh inning as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1, in the opener of a four-game set.
Saunders and Stefen Romero both had two hits and Robinson Cano drove in a run for the Mariners, who have won three of their last four.
Dominic Leone (1-0) earned his first career win after surrendering just one hit with two strikeouts across 1 2/3 frames in relief of starter Roenis Elias, who gave up a run on three hits and four walks with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 frames.
Jose Altuve went 2-for-4 with a home run as Houston dropped its third straight game. Jarred Cosart (3-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits with four walks.
Deadlocked at 1-1 since the opening frame, the Mariners took the lead for good in the seventh. Dustin Ackley and Romero both singled to right and advanced on a wild pitch with Nick Franklin batting. Cosart then walked Franklin to load the bases with no outs. After striking out Mike Zunino, Cosart was replaced by Tony Sipp on the mound.
Sipp got Cole Gillespie to pop up to first for the second out. With a 3-2 count, Saunders grounded one in the hole on the right side and beat out Jesus Guzman's flip to Sipp covering first by a step to bring home Ackley and Romero to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead. Astros manager Bo Porter challenged the play, but the call was upheld.
"I don't think he was trying to slide his foot in there," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of the play. "He hit the front of the base. Those plays are bang-bang, you just don't know."
The runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch and Sipp walked Cano to load the bases, but Kyle Seager flied out to center to end the rally.
"It's just one of those things that'll just eat at me for a while," Sipp said of not being able to get to the bag in time.
Altuve gave the Astros the early lead after he led off the game with a first- pitch blast to left.
The Mariners countered in the bottom half of the frame. James Jones walked, moved to third on Saunders' sharp grounder to right and hustled home on Cano's sacrifice fly to center.
Yoervis Medina took the mound in the eighth for Seattle and struck out the side and Fernando Rodney spun a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 12th save of the season.
Jones extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a lead-off single in the third ... Sipp retired all 21 batters he faced this season prior to Saunders' infield single ... Entering the contest, the Mariners dropped six of their last seven games to Houston at Safeco Field ... Cano has reached base safely in a career-high 29 straight games. It is the longest active streak in the majors.
05/23 02:32:39 ET
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