LoMo's long ball sends Mariners past Astros

LoMo's long ball sends Mariners past Astros

HOUSTON -- Logan Morrison socked a two-run pinch-hit home run with two outs in the eighth inning off reliever Pat Neshek -- the third homer of the game for Seattle -- to break a tie and lead the Mariners to a 7-5 win over the Astros on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

"That was a lot of fun, especially here with the success they've had against us. Kind of exorcise the demons a little bit," said Morrison, whose Mariners had been outscored 57-26 while losing seven of eight previous games in Houston this season.

Franklin Gutierrez and Mark Trumbo also homered for the Mariners, who twice squandered two-run leads. Astros right fielder Jake Marisnick's homer in the fourth tied the game at 3, but Trumbo's third homer in his last two games, a two-run blast in the fifth, put the Mariners ahead, 5-3.

Astros starter Scott Feldman left the game in the third inning after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. The Astros came from behind to tie the game twice, making it 5-5 in the sixth when Jose Altuve stole second and Marisnick came home on a wild throw by catcher John Hicks.

After the Mariners rallied with two outs in the eighth to take the lead, the Astros put the leadoff hitter on third to start the bottom of the inning when Colby Rasmus doubled and advanced on an error. Seattle reliever Carson Smith struck out the next three batters, and Tom Wilhelmsen had a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

"They game ended poorly in the eighth inning on both sides of the ball," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We were two outs and two strikes, [then] a single and a homer and we fall behind. I thought we could crawl back in it a little bit with a leadoff [double and error] ... and just didn't score and make it interesting in the ninth. Going into the ninth against Wilhelmsen down one instead of down two does matter."

The Astros have a three-game lead in the American League West over the Rangers, who beat San Diego on Tuesday night.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trum-boom: Trumbo has hit some prodigious bombs in his career, and the Mariners' first baseman unloaded one of his biggest with a two-run shot in the fifth that caromed off the train atop the left-field wall and was projected by Statcast™ to land 464 feet from home plate. Trumbo's third homer in two nights gave Seattle a 5-3 lead and upped his season total to 20, including 11 with the Mariners since his June 4 acquisition from the D-backs.

"That's probably the best one I've hit this year," said Trumbo. "I don't really know how far it went, but it felt pretty good. But more than the distance or anything was the fact it put us ahead by a couple runs. We'd been going back and forth, so it was nice at that point in the game."

Statcast: Trumbo boards train

Feldman injured: Feldman, who had been nothing short of terrific since returning from the disabled list following knee surgery, certainly appeared to be off before his exit, walking five batters and allowing three runs and three hits while throwing 85 pitches in 2 2/3 innings. Vincent Velasquez threw 4 1/3 innings in relief.

"Once it started hurting, I don't want to go out there and tear my shoulder, or something like that," Feldman said. "I've got an MRI [on Wednesday], and hopefully everything's all right." More >

Feldman exits ballgame

Another Guti beauty: Gutierrez continues putting together an outstanding comeback season for the Mariners. After sitting out all of 2014 while dealing with health issues caused by a nerve condition called ankylosing spondylitis, the 32-year-old has been big for Seattle since his recall from Triple-A on June 24. He went 2-for 4 with a walk and three runs scored and got Seattle on the board in the second with a leadoff homer off Feldman, his fourth home run in his last six games. Gutierrez is hitting .310 with 11 homers and 29 RBIs in 43 games in a part-time role.

"The challenge is making sure that we can keep him in the lineup, and so far, so good," said manager Lloyd McClendon.

Gutierrez's solo home run

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Astros are 0-6 this season when they reach 14 games over .500.

QUOTABLE
"I'm trying to get a strike over and trying to hit my spot, and I missed it a little bit in. He did what he was supposed to do, took a big hack and pulled it pretty well. I tip my cap to him." -- Neshek on the game-winning homer by Morrison.

"The pitch before that, when he swung and missed, I told [bench coach Trent Jewett], 'I would really like to see him connect on one of those upper-90s fastballs, just to see how far it would go. And the next pitch, he did. He hit it pretty good." -- McClendon on Trumbo's blast.

WHAT'S NEXT
Mariners: Taijuan Walker (10-7, 4.53 ERA) gets the call in Wednesday's 5:10 p.m. PT series finale in Houston against a familiar foe as the 23-year-old is 4-1 with a 4.46 ERA in seven career starts against the Astros. The 23-year-old right-hander is 8-1 with a 3.73 ERA in his last 15 outings this season, with the Mariners winning 12 of those games.

Astros: Lefty Scott Kazmir (7-9, 2.45) gets the start in the series finale against the Mariners at 7:10 p.m. CT Wednesday at Minute Maid Park. Kazmir, who was named July's AL Pitcher of the Month, lost four of his five August starts, lasting more than six innings only once while giving up 13 earned runs.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.