- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston was tied with the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning on Wednesday night when Astros reliever Pat Neshek did something he had not done in his nine years in the majors.

Neshek committed the first error of his career which led to two unearned runs for the Mariners and they went on to an 8-3 victory over the Astros.

The Mariners had runners at second and third with no outs in the eighth after the error by Neshek (3-5). The miscue came when he fielded a sacrifice bunt by Jesus Sucre but his throw sailed over the head of 5-foot-5 Jose Altuve, who was covering first base.

“Sometimes you just make a bad play,” Neshek said. “It was the worst play I have ever made in my life. It happens. It got away from me. That changes the game a lot.”

Rookie Shawn O’Malley’s line drive to right field scored Logan Morrison to put Seattle on top 4-3 and they added another run later in the inning.

“That bunt play he makes all the time,” manager A.J. Hinch said of Neshek. “That’s not a normal play for him. Then the inning unraveled. I think making pitches is important, and obviously, keeping outs to three an inning was key tonight.”

O’Malley finished with three hits and Morrison padded the lead with a three-run shot in the ninth.

Franklin Gutierrez had two hits and an RBI for the Mariners, who took two of three from the AL West-leading Astros. It was Houston’s first series loss at home since May 29-31 against the Chicago White Sox and the first time they have lost two in a row in Houston since June 26-27.

It was the 2015 debut for O’Malley, who appeared in 11 games for the Los Angeles Angels last season, but spent all year in Triple-A before being called up Tuesday. He also had a run-scoring single in the second.

Morrison, who hit a game-winning two-run homer as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday, connected off Josh Fields to make it 8-3 in the ninth.

Seattle starter Taijuan Walker allowed five hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings. Carson Smith (2-5) got the last out of the seventh inning for the win and Tom Wilhelmsen got the final five outs for his eighth save.

Scott Kazmir yielded seven hits and three runs - two earned - in 4 1-3 innings, which was his shortest start since a trade to Houston on July 23.

“This one was tough,” he said. “This one was all on me. Not getting through five and putting the team in a bad spot. It showed later on when guys had to eat up innings. It was frustrating.”

The Mariners had a shot to take the lead in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out. But they came away empty when Colby Rasmus caught a long fly ball to right by Mark Trumbo and his throw beat Nelson Cruz home to finish the double play. Cruz didn’t return after that play because of a strained right quadriceps.

Seager doubled to start the fifth and an RBI single by Robinson Cano with one out chased Kazmir and tied it 3-3.

The Mariners tied it at 2-all in the third on a ground-rule RBI double by Gutierrez, which bounced on the hill in center field and over the wall.

A two-out RBI single by Evan Gattis put Houston on top 3-2 in the bottom of the inning.

Preston Tucker, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno earlier Wednesday, hit an RBI single tie it 1-1 in the second. The Astros took a 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly by Luis Valbuena later in the inning.


Astros: An MRI on the right shoulder of RHP Scott Feldman revealed no damage and he received a cortisone injection to calm the inflammation in his shoulder. Feldman left Tuesday’s start after 2 2-3 innings with discomfort in his throwing shoulder. The Astros hope he will be OK after sitting out one start. … OF George Springer (broken right wrist) will play his fourth rehabilitation game at Double-A Corpus Christi on Thursday and could be activated soon after.


Mariners: Seattle is off Thursday and opens a three-game series at Oakland on Friday when LHP Edgar Olmos (1-0, 2.13) opposes A’s RHP Aaron Brooks (1-1, 5.47). It will be the second career start for Olmos, who has appeared in five games with one start for the Mariners this season.

Astros: Houston has a day off Thursday before RHP Collin McHugh (14-7, 3.92) opposes Minnesota RHP Mike Pelfrey (6-8, 3.85) on Friday in the opener of a three-game series. McHugh is second on the team behind ace Dallas Keuchel with a career-high 14 wins.

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