Except he wasn't finished yet.
Walker came back out and struck out the side again in seventh, then
the Mariners held on for dear life to beat the Houston Astros 3-2 on
Walker matched a career high with 11 strikeouts on a night when
third baseman Kyle Seager recorded his 100th career home run and
closer Steve Cishek added his 100th save following a shaky ninth
Seager and Leonys Martin each homered for the second game in a row
to lead the Mariners to a 3-1 lead before the Seattle bullpen almost
gave it away. Houston shortstop Carlos Correa's RBI single in the
eighth cut the deficit to 3-2, then Cishek had to rely on a caught
stealing and a game-ending groundout off the bat of Houston's Jose
Altuve to get the save.
"I never thought I'd be saying I have 100 saves," Cishek said after
the tense ninth inning. "It's really a blessing. I'll celebrate it
tonight but forget about it real soon."
The Astros (6-14) stranded eight runners on base, including runners
at the corners in the ninth.
"We had plenty of opportunities and couldn't cash in enough runs,"
manager A.J. Hinch said after his team's sixth loss in seven games.
Seattle's Walker allowed one run off six hits over seven innings
while throwing a career-high 118 pitches. Walker (2-0) got better as
the game went on, recording six of his 11 strikeouts over the final
two innings. His final pitch struck out catcher Erik Kratz to end
"I was just fired up, especially those last two innings," Walker
said. "I felt better as the game went on."
Houston starter Doug Fister (1-3) needed 113 pitches to get through
six innings, issuing a career-high seven walks while giving up a
pair of solo homers and three earned runs overall.
"He continued to battle," Hinch said. "He kept the hit total down
(to four). They had a lot of baserunners, but all in all he kept us
in the game."
Martin's home run tied the game at 1-1 in the third and Seager's
100th career home run broke the tie an inning later. Robinson Cano
gave the Mariners a 3-1 lead with an RBI single in the fifth.
Seattle (10-9) moved over .500 for the first time since the
season-opening series and won for only the second time in seven home
games this year. The Astros fell to 2-8 in road games.
[to top of second column]
Houston got an RBI single from center fielder Carlos Gomez to open
the scoring in the top of the second, then the Astros cut the
deficit to 3-2 on Correa's RBI single in the eighth.
Cishek pitched in and out of trouble in the ninth to earn his fifth
save of the season. Cishek gave up a walk and two singles but
stranded runners on the corners when he got Altuve to ground out to
short to end the game.
"I was just trying to throw everything I could at him," Cishek said
of the Altuve at-bat. "I was throwing it as hard as I could, and
wherever it went, I just hoped he hit a ground ball at somebody.
Gomez got a one-out single in the ninth but was thrown out trying to
steal second base.
"It's the story of the last couple weeks, where we beat ourselves a
little bit in a close game," Hinch said. "Those (mistakes) are
continuing to hurt us."
Houston left fielder Colby Rasmus, who was named the American League
player of the week earlier in the day, went 0-for-4 with two
strikeouts in the loss.
NOTES: LF Colby Rasmus was named the American League player of the
week. It marked the second time in his career Rasmus earned the
honor. It also marked the first time in the award's 42-year history
that three teammates were honored in each of the first three weeks
of the season, as Rasmus joined 1B Tyler White and 2B Jose Altuve as
recipients. ... Seattle placed RHP Joaquin Benoit on the 15-day
disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. Benoit's most
recent appearance was Friday and he has a 3.60 ERA over five
appearances this season. He has served as the Mariners' setup man
but took a few days off earlier this month because of a tired arm.
... Seattle called up RHP Mayckol Guaipe from Triple-A Tacoma before
Monday's game. Guaipe was 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA over 21 games during
four stints with Seattle last season.
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