SEATTLE -- George Springer continued to punish Seattle pitching early and Evan Gattis came through in a pinch as the Astros topped the Mariners, 7-5, on Tuesday to even their series at Safeco Field at a game apiece.
Springer hit Ariel Miranda's first pitch over the fence in left-center for his Major League-record fourth leadoff homer in the first nine games of a season. Three of those have come against Seattle, including twice now against Miranda.
Gattis supplied the big blow with a three-RBI double off rookie reliever James Pazos in a four-run sixth as the Astros put up their highest-scoring total of the season while improving to 5-4. More >>
"He's a little erratic," Gattis said of Pazos. "He kind of did me a favor by throwing a couple of balls. I know he's got some good offspeed. Right place, right time, I'll take it."
After getting two outs in the sixth, Miranda walked Brian McCann and Marwin Gonzalez before being replaced by Pazos and the Astros proceeded to get four straight hits off the lefty, including Gattis' blooper to right that Mitch Haniger couldn't quite glove.
"Miranda was throwing the ball really good to that point, then the back-to-back walks got us," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "Pazos came in and I thought made some good pitches, but not a lot of things went his way. The chopper off the plate and the soft liner to right that we weren't able to catch. Tough play, no doubt."
Miranda allowed seven hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings and is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in two starts after taking the rotation spot of the injured Drew Smyly. Joe Musgrove picked up his first win of the year for Houston, giving up seven hits and three runs in 5 1/3 frames.
The Mariners fell to 2-7 on the season, including 2-4 against the Astros, despite a 3-for-4 night with three doubles by shortstop Taylor Motter in his first game in place of the injured Jean Segura.
Motter's third double came as part of a ninth-inning rally off Astros closer Ken Giles as Seattle scored twice to close the final margin before Giles got Nelson Cruz to fly out for the final out.
"He didn't find the strike zone very easily, and the middle of their order is coming up and it's never comfortable," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "All's well that ends well."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Speed indeed: With Segura going on the 10-day disabled list, Jarrod Dyson moved into the leadoff role for Seattle. And the little left fielder got things going for the Mariners in the third with a two-out single on a little dribbler to Musgrove, reaching first safely despite getting knocked off his feet in a collision with Yulieski Gurriel. Dyson scored from there on a double off the wall by Haniger, slowing at third before scampering home when the throw went to second. Seattle then tied the game at 2 on a base hit by Robinson Cano.
Gattis comes through: Gattis didn't hit the ball hard, but his bloop pinch-hit double to right field in the sixth scored three runs and proved to be the different. According to Statcast™, the ball had a 19 percent hit probability because it was hit at 75.1 mph and at a 32-degree launch angle. Haniger made a long run and got a glove on the ball as he slid. It was a good effort considering Statcast™ had it with a 18 percent catch probability, which combines hang time and distance covered by the outfielder.
"Right place, right time," Gattis said. "Didn't hit it that well, but got a good pitch to hit." More >>
"For me, Springer is not only one of the best players on this team, but one of the best players in the league. What can I say? He does it all. He plays really good defense, he runs the bases really good, he hits for power, he hits for average. I feel I'm in love with him, the way he plays. What else can I say about him?" -- Jose Altuve .
"He's done it a few times this year. Looking for that fastball, he's hunting it, taking a big swing at it and he's squaring it up. He's got us he got the Royals once with it, too. It's something we have to be aware of. He's obviously a very aggressive hitter." -- Servais on Springer's leadoff homers
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Motter became the third shortstop in Mariners history to hit three doubles in a game, joining Willie Bloomquist (2005 vs. Royals) and Rey Quinones (1999 vs. A's). The three doubles tied a club record that has been equaled 26 times, the last by Leonys Martin last Sept. 12 at Anaheim.
Springer has four leadoff homers in the first nine games of the season, which is a Major League record. He has 13 leadoff homers in his career, which ties him with Terry Puhl for the second place on the Astros' all-time list. More >>
WHAT'S NEXT Astros: Right-hander Mike Fiers will make his second start of the season in Wednesday's 9:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Mariners at Safeco Field. He lost to the Royals on Friday in Houston, allowing five hits and one earned run in six innings.
Mariners: Veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo makes his second start for the Mariners in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT series finale at Safeco Field. Gallardo gave up three runs in five innings in his debut in Anaheim, but now faces an Astros team that he's had a lot of success against in the past (15-5, 3.15 ERA in 22 starts).