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|09-30-2015, 12:50 AM||#1|
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Astros lose to Mariners 6-4, fall half-game out of wild-card contention
Shawn O'Malley damaged Houston's playoff hopes with a two-run, bases-loaded single in the eighth inning that gave the Seattle Mariners a 6-4 comeback victory over the Astros on Tuesday.
The Astros, who are still involved in two postseason races, were displaced in the American League wild-card chase by the Los Angeles Angels, an 8-1 winner over Oakland on Tuesday. The New York Yankees, who lost to Boston 10-4, maintains the top wild-card spot with the Angels now second. Houston slips a half-game behind Los Angeles
As for the AL West race, division-leading Texas beat Detroit 7-6, and has a two-game lead over the Angels and 2 1-2 over the Astros.
The victory broke the Mariners' six-game losing streak.
Robinson Cano hit his 20th home run, a two-run shot in the sixth off Mike Fiers that tied the game at 4-all.
Cano is the eighth second baseman to hit 20 or more homers in at least six seasons. He joins Jeff Kent (12), Dan Uggla (7), Craig Biggio (7), Joe Gordon (7), Rogers Hornsby (7), Bret Boone (6) and Ryne Sandberg (6).
It also extended Cano's hitting streak to 12 games, the longest current streak in the AL.
Tom Wilhelmsen (2-2) earned the victory with 1 2-3 innings of relief. Oliver Perez (2-4) took the loss.
Seth Smith started the winning rally with a two-out single to right off Perez. Mark Trumbo singled off Pat Neshek and Franklin Gutierrez walked. O'Malley then lined a 2-2 pitch from Neshek over second base.
George Springer had three hits for the Astros and Marwin Gonzalez hit his 12th home run.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez has a tender right elbow and could be given an extra day's rest, pushing him back to Saturday. ... LHP James Paxton (left middle index finger) will not pitch again until the Arizona Fall League.
Astros: OF Carlos Gomez, who missed 13 games in September with intercostal discomfort, took batting practice before the game. He is on a track to return but manager A.J. Hinch could not say when. ... 3B Jed Lowrie left the game in the fifth with left quad soreness.
Mariners: The Mariners have not named a starter for Wednesday but it's certain to be a reliever. Manager Lloyd McClendon likely will start either RHP Mayckol Guaipe (0-3, 5.32) or LHP David Rollins (0-2, 7.88). Neither has a major league start.
Astros: LHP Scott Kazmir (7-11, 2.97) has struggled to contribute over the past two months. He is 1-6 since Aug. 5 and the Astros are 2-8 over his last 10 starts. "He's one good start away from forgetting his tough ones," Hinch said. Kazmir is 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 15 career starts against Seattle.
ONE YEAR COMPLETE
A year ago Tuesday, Hinch was hired as the 18th manager in Astros history. "A lot has happened in a year," Hinch said. "It's a big step in my career and obviously I've really enjoyed how the year has gone thus far." The Astros were 70-92 last season.
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