Gomez delivers defensive gem in return

Astros CF goes 2-for-4, gets key double play to end 7-6 win

Gomez delivers defensive gem in return

SEATTLE -- Center fielder Carlos Gomez returned to the Astros' starting lineup in Wednesday's 7-6 win over the Mariners, delivering two hits, one run and a key defensive double play.

Gomez caught a line drive off the bat of Franklin Gutierrez in the ninth inning and fired a laser to first to double up the runner for a dramatic ending to a wild game.

It was Gomez's first start since straining his left intercostal muscle while taking practice prior to a Sept. 13 game in Anaheim.

Gomez isn't 100 percent, but with only four games remaining it was time to get him on the field. 

"I said it before, I don't think this year I'm going to be 100 percent," he said before the game. "I feel that I'm good enough to come and play and perform and so today's a big day for me. I'm excited. I'm going to come outside and do my best and help my team win the four games left."

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said the Astros were targeting a Wednesday return because Gomez was progressing and there's an off-day on Thursday, so he wouldn't yet have to play back-to-back games.

"Today was a natural day to test it, to get him back in the lineup and see how he feels," he said. "To be honest with you, the time of the year is really driving this, the importance of the games, his willingness and eagerness to get back on the field. We think he's a guy who could help us win."

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.