Manager Scott Servais never doubted that his Seattle Mariners would arrive at the ballpark in Houston on Tuesday having flushed out their blowout loss to the Astros the previous night.
True to form, the Mariners clawed back from an early two-run deficit and were two outs away from slicing their deficit in the American League West to 4 1/2 games before closer Paul Sewald surrendered the lead in the ninth inning.
Then Yohan Ramirez allowed a leadoff, walk-off double to Carlos Correa in the 10th as the Astros won 5-4 to clinch the series victory.
“There was no question we were going to show up and play a quality ballgame, and we did,” said Servais, whose team hopes to salvage the series finale Wednesday afternoon. “Outstanding effort. Our guys came in locked in and ready to go.”
Until Tuesday, Sewald was 2-0 with two saves and a 0.00 ERA in four outings against the Astros this season. He recorded 10 strikeouts and one walk over 4 1/3 innings in those contests.
Alex Bregman ruined Sewald’s perfect record against Houston with a one-out, two-run homer in the ninth, forcing extra innings.
“Everybody at this time of year, the teams that are still in it, those guys in the bullpen are going to have those days where they don’t feel 100 percent,” Servais said. “Part of it is when you see these guys over and over, you know how they’re going to finish you off. They executed late, and you have to give them credit.”
Left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-9, 4.08 ERA) will start for the Mariners on Wednesday. He did not factor into the decision in his last start, at Arizona on Friday, when he allowed three runs on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts over six-plus innings in the Mariners’ 6-5 victory.
Anderson was 5-8 with a 4.35 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being acquired by Seattle on July 28. In four career starts against the Astros, Anderson is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA. He allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings in his lone start against the Astros this season on Aug. 22 in Houston.
Right-hander Jose Urquidy (6-3, 3.42 ERA) will start Wednesday as the Astros pursue the series sweep. He allowed two runs on five hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings against the San Diego Padres on Friday, his first start following a two-month stint on the injured list while dealing with right shoulder discomfort.
Urquidy has allowed more than three runs just three times in 15 starts this season, and he is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA since his previous such outing, a span of five starts. Urquidy is 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA over three career appearances (two starts) against Seattle, with both starts coming early this season.
Despite all of their success this season, the Astros hadn’t shown a penchant for late-inning comebacks before Tuesday. Houston had been 2-45 when trailing after eight innings. Their third such win extended their AL West lead to 6 1/2 games over Seattle and seven games over the Oakland A’s.
“We haven’t come back much this year,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “Hopefully that’s the start of things to come.
“That lets you know what we’re capable of and lets everybody know. It starts with one, and hopefully we can build from here. We don’t have 45 more games to even the score, but we can do what we can to win these games in the future.”
–Field Level Media