- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - The Seattle Mariners couldn’t do anything against Houston’s Collin McHugh in his first start against them this season.

Sunday’s game was a lot different.

Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist each drove in two runs, and the Mariners pulled away in a four-run third inning to beat the Astros 8-7.

Bloomquist broke a 1-all tie with a two-run double against McHugh (2-1) and Cano followed with his first triple since June 3, 2012.

McHugh, who entered with a 0.59 ERA and 19 strikeouts in two starts, gave up six runs - five earned - and eight hits in four innings. He allowed three hits and struck out 12 in 6 2-3 scoreless innings against Seattle on April 22.

“We had no knowledge of him the first time, and the young man threw the ball pretty good,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “This time I thought we had better at-bats, gave him stressful at-bats. His pitch count was up, and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Houston manager Bo Porter said McHugh struggled with his offspeed pitches Sunday.

“What you saw today was a Seattle Mariners team making an adjustment from the last time they faced him,” Porter said. “He didn’t have the sharpness to his breaking stuff like he did that day in Seattle.”

Brandon Maurer (1-0) allowed four runs and six hits in five innings for his first win since Sept. 28 against Oakland.

McClendon was proud of how Maurer got out of the fifth.

“It was a big inning in a lot of ways for him from a mental standpoint,” McClendon said. “I think he learned a lot. And I think maybe he grew up a little bit.”

Danny Farquhar allowed one run in two innings for his first save since that Sept. 28 game. Farquhar allowed a two-out single to Jason Castro that pulled Houston within one run in the ninth, then struck out Matt Dominguez to end the game.

Alex Presley and Jonathan Villar homered, and Chris Carter and Marc Krauss had two RBIs apiece for the Astros, who lost for the seventh time in 10 games and dropped to a big league-worst 10-21.

It was the second straight game with a homer for Villar, who leads the team with five and his 14 extra-base hits are most among American League shortstops.

Cano hit an RBI groundout in the first after Michael Saunders singled leading off and took third on McHugh’s errant pickoff throw, which went for an error. Saunders is hitting .444 with four RBIs in four games in the leadoff spot.

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