HOUSTON (AP) - Jose Altuve had another big night at the plate for the Houston Astros on Thursday.
Unfortunately, the rest of the lineup didn’t do much to help him in a 6-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Altuve tied a career-high with four hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs. The rest of the Astros managed just four hits combined.
“Without Altuve we had a couple hits here and there, we couldn’t really put anything together back-to-back against (Wade) Miley,” manager A.J Hinch said. “He did a good job of disrupting our timing and executing four different pitches.”
Robinson Cano had three hits and his tiebreaking three-run double in the ninth inning gave the Mariners their fourth straight win.
The bases were loaded with one out in the ninth when Cano cleared them with his double off Luke Gregerson (0-1) that sailed just out of reach of center fielder Carlos Gomez.
Hinch was disappointed that his bullpen put Cano in the situation to come up with such a big hit.
“Cano … is a dangerous hitter,” Hinch said. “He gets even more dangerous as the stakes get a little higher.”
Cano, who has at least two hits in five straight games, also drove in a run in the third inning to give him four RBIs and an American League-leading 30 this season.
Nick Vincent (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win and Steve Cishek allowed one hit in the ninth for his ninth save.
Tyler White snapped a 0 for 16 skid with a double to start Houston’s seventh and Jason Castro walked with one out. Altuve hit a double, which landed on Tal’s Hill in center field, scoring White to tie it at 3-3, but Castro was tagged out at home.
Norichika Aoki greeted Tony Sipp with a single to load the bases in the seventh before Seth Smith’s groundball single rolled just out of reach of a diving Altuve and into right field to score two and make it 3-2.
Altuve, who leads the Astros with nine homers, gave them an early lead when he sent Miley’s third pitch onto the train tracks atop left field for his second straight leadoff homer and major league-leading sixth this season. His six leadoff homers are the most by an Astro since Craig Biggio also had six in 2006.
“I feel good,” Altuve said. “I want to go out there and get on base like I always do. I’m not trying to hit those home runs. Just really want to get on base for … the guys behind me.”
Cano’s RBI single tied it at 1-1 in the third inning. The Astros took a 2-1 lead on an RBI single by Evan Gattis in the sixth inning.
Houston starter Chris Devenski allowed six hits and one run in six innings in his second start and eighth major league appearance.
Miley allowed five hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings.
SECOND BASE ADMIRATION
Cano is a big fan of fellow second baseman Altuve and said he enjoys watching him play. “He’s a guy that anytime he swings you know something good is going to happen,” Cano said. “It’s always fun to watch guys, especially at second base, be (as) successful as he’s been the last 3-4 years. He’s great.”
Mariners: Seattle manager Scott Servais said right-handed reliever Tony Zych will be out four to six weeks with tendinitis in his shoulder. “From the reports I got there are some issues, but I don’t think there is any serious structural damage,” he said. “He has a sore shoulder, he has some inflammation and we need to quiet it down.”
Mariners: Taijuan Walker (2-1, 1.80) will make his sixth start of the season on Friday. Walker has allowed two earned runs or less and lasted at least six innings in four of his five starts this season. He tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in a win over Houston on April 25.
Astros: Doug Fister (2-3, 4.60) looks for his third win when he starts for Houston on Friday. Fister allowed just one run in a season-high 6 2/3 innings in a win over Oakland in his last start.
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