Paxton goes 7 strong
(c) Associated Press
In a Wednesday matinee at Minute Maid Park Seattle's James Paxton held the Astros to six hits and only one run in seven innings of a 4-1 Mariners win. Ben Gamel's 2-run homer off Charlie Morton in the fourth put Seattle on top and Paxton and the bullpen made sure it stayed that way.
Morton went 6-2/3 for Houston, surrendering four runs on six hits. It was a somewhat encouraging outing as Charlie didn't walk a batter and kept his pitch count relatively low, enabling him to work deeper into the game. Morton almost got through the seventh, but a weak roller off the bat of Danny Valencia turned into an infield hit and Valencia eventually came around to score on Mike Zunino's double.
The Astros have been unable to solve Paxton all year. The lefty is now 2-0 with an ERA of 0.45 in three starts against Houston this season. Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Jose Altuve had two hits apiece but the rest of the lineup stayed mostly quiet. Altuve and Springer were both thrown out on the bases for the second day in a row, managing to stifle a couple of would-be rallies.
Francis Martes was sharp in relief, striking out five of the eight batters he faced over the final 2-1/3 innings. Martes is making a strong case to stay with the big club when Collin McHugh is activated from the disabled list this weekend.
The Astros get Thursday off before a Friday night date with the Orioles in Baltimore. Mike Fiers gets the start for the Astros against veteran right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
- Greg Thurston