SEATTLE (AP) — Felix Hernandez pitched six solid innings in his first start in nearly two months and was backed by home runs from Mike Zunino, Ben Gamel and Kyle Seager in the Seattle Mariners’ 13-3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
A day after climbing over .500 for the first time this season, the Mariners continued their June surge with their sixth straight win thanks to an offense that knocked out Houston starter Joe Musgrove (4-7) early. Jarrod Dyson’s RBI double in the second got Seattle started, but it was a six-run third inning that blew the game open.
Danny Valencia’s two-run single dribbled past the diving attempt of Alex Bregman and two batters later Zunino hit a three-run shot for his 10th home run of the season.
All of Zunino’s homers have come since being recalled from Triple-A on May 23, and he has 29 RBIs in June — just four short of the franchise record for any month.
Gamel led off the fourth inning with his fourth homer and Seager followed later in the inning with his eighth, helping end Musgrove’s miserable night. The Houston right-hander lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing 12 hits and nine earned runs, both new career-highs.
Hernandez (3-2) wasn’t great but didn’t need to be getting the kind of run support that’s been rare during his career. Pitching for the first time since April 25, Hernandez gave up a pair of solo home runs to Bregman and Jose Altuve, but walked just one batter and pitched out of the one major jam he faced. Houston had runners at the corners with one out when Hernandez struck out Yuli Gurriel and got Bregman to fly out.
Hernandez struck out eight, and Yovani Gallardo picked up the save pitching the final three innings in his first relief appearance since 2007.
Seattle added three runs in the seventh inning, all scoring on wild pitches from Houston’s James Hoyt. Two scored on one play as Brian McCann struggled to locate the ball, allowing Danny Valencia and Dyson to score. Pinch-runner Taylor Motter scored later in the inning on another spiked pitch.
Astros: LHP Reymin Guduan was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Friday and threw two innings of relief allowing just one hit. Houston optioned RHP Dayan Diaz.
Mariners: To clear a roster spot for Hernandez, RHP Andrew Moore was sent back to the minors after a successful major league debut on Thursday. Moore allowed three runs in seven innings to get the victory against Detroit. Because of off days, the Mariners won’t need a fifth starter for at least a week. Moore will stay on turn in the minors and is expected to rejoin the club when a fifth starter is needed.
Astros: Lance McCullers (6-1) returns from the disabled list to start for the first time since June 8. McCullers was out because of lower back discomfort. He was the AL pitcher of the month in May after going 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA.
Mariners: Sam Gaviglio (3-1) will make his eighth start. Gaviglio got a no decision in his last outing throwing five innings and allowed two earned runs.
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