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Altuve drives in go-ahead run, steals 300th base to lead Astros over Mariners 5-3

Another solid start for Kirby, but Seattle can't capitalize

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer
Published: May 3, 2024, 8:07pm
2 Photos
Seattle Mariners shortstop Dylan Moore misses the tag as Houston Astros' Jose Altuve steals second base during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 3, 2024, in Houston. The play was Altuve's 300th career steal. (AP Photo/Kevin M.
Seattle Mariners shortstop Dylan Moore misses the tag as Houston Astros' Jose Altuve steals second base during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 3, 2024, in Houston. The play was Altuve's 300th career steal. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox) Photo Gallery

HOUSTON — Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead bunt RBI single and collected his 300th career stolen base in Houston’s four-run seventh inning to lead the Astros to a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

The 2017 AL MVP is the fifth player in MLB history to have at least 300 steals, 2,000 hits, 400 doubles, 200 homers and a career batting average of .300 or higher, joining Derek Jeter, Paul Molitor, Willie Mays and Roberto Alomar.

“It’s always good to get milestones like that, but I think that we are in the wrong time to think about stats because we’re trying to win games and cover some ground we lost in the beginning,” Altuve said. “But yeah I’m very happy and thankful for this kind of stuff.”

The Astros moved into a tie with the Angels for last place in the AL West at 12-20 while the first-place Mariners fell to 17-15.

The Mariners missed a scoring opportunity in the eighth. Josh Rojas was on second and Julio Rodríguez on third with no outs before Ryan Pressly struck out Jorge Polanco.

Mitch Haniger then hit a high fly ball to right field that Kyle Tucker caught. Rojas took off toward home before quickly retreating to third base. But Rodríguez dashed toward third, forcing Rojas into a rundown that resulted in him being tagged out at the plate to end the inning.

“We didn’t play good baseball,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Free bases, base running miscues, you can’t do that on the road against a good team.”

Josh Hader walked one in a scoreless ninth for his third save.

“We’ve just got to continue to remind ourselves how good we are when we play our style of baseball, doing the little things well,” manager Joe Espada said. “And when we do that, we are a really, really good team.”

Jeremy Peña got things going in the seventh with a walk before a single by Yainer Diaz. There was one out in the inning when Gabe Speier (0-1) came in and walked pinch-hitter Jake Meyers to load the bases.

The Astros cut the lead to one when Peña scored on an error by catcher Cal Raleigh on a pickoff attempt. A sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón scored Diaz to tie it before Altuve’s hit.

Altuve’s bunt rolled toward third base allowing Meyers to score just before Altuve beat the throw by Rojas to first to make it 4-3.

“I felt like we needed this game and it was a must-win for us, so I decided to take the chance,” Altuve.

Altuve stole second base before consecutive walks by Tucker and Yordan Alvarez loaded the bases for the second time in the inning. Cody Bolton replaced Speier and he walked Alex Bregman to extend the lead to 5-3.

Polanco hit a solo homer for Seattle in the third and Dylan Moore’s two-run shot in the fifth made it 3-1.

The bullpen struggles ruined a strong start by George Kirby. He allowed four hits and one run in six innings for Seattle’s 20th quality start this season, which leads the majors.

Servais said he pulled Kirby after six because he is dealing with a right knee issue that he doesn’t consider to be major.

Houston starter Ronel Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, allowed five hits and a season-high three runs in six innings. Seth Martinez (2-2) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win.

There was one out in the fourth when Alvarez snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a double to center field. Bregman singled to send him to third before the Astros tied it when Alvarez scored on Peña’s groundout.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (1-0, 2.60) opposes RHP Logan Gilbert (2-0, 2.03) when the series continues Saturday night.

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ASTROS 5, MARINERS 3

Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Rojas 3b 4 0 3 0 0 0 .338
Rodríguez cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .270
Polanco 2b 4 1 1 1 0 3 .183
Haniger rf 3 0 0 0 1 0 .211
Raleigh c 4 0 0 0 0 0 .208
France 1b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .245
Garver dh 3 0 0 0 1 2 .138
Raley lf 3 1 1 0 0 1 .224
b-Urías ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .143
Moore ss 3 1 1 2 0 1 .203
Totals 32 3 7 3 3 9
Houston AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Altuve 2b 4 1 1 1 0 0 .348
Tucker rf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .283
Alvarez dh 3 1 1 0 1 1 .246
Bregman 3b 3 0 1 1 1 0 .204
Peña ss 3 1 0 1 1 1 .325
Diaz c 4 1 2 0 0 0 .291
Singleton 1b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .255
Loperfido lf 2 0 2 0 0 0 .364
a-Meyers ph-cf 1 1 0 0 1 1 .222
Dubón cf-lf 3 0 0 1 0 0 .282
Totals 30 5 7 4 5 5
Seattle 001 020 000—3 7 1
Houston 000 100 40x—5 7 0

a-walked for Loperfido in the 7th. b-struck out for Raley in the 9th.

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E—Raleigh (2). LOB—Seattle 5, Houston 7. 2B—Alvarez (4). HR—Polanco (5), off Blanco; Moore (2), off Blanco. RBI—Polanco (13), Moore 2 (6), Peña (13), Dubón (14), Altuve (12), Bregman (11). SB—Altuve (7). SF—Dubón.

Runners left in scoring position—Seattle 1 (Raleigh); Houston 3 (Peña 2, Diaz). RISP—Seattle 0 for 3; Houston 2 for 6.

Runners moved up—Peña, Singleton. LIDP—Rodríguez.

DP—Houston 2 (Peña, Singleton, Peña; Peña, Altuve, Diaz, Tucker, Diaz, Tucker).

Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Kirby 6 4 1 1 0 3 88 3.76
Thornton, H, 3 1-3 1 2 2 1 0 16 2.70
Speier, L, 0-1, BS, 0-1 1-3 1 2 2 3 0 23 2.45
Bolton 1-3 0 0 0 1 1 12 1.74
T.Miller 1 1 0 0 0 1 14 2.08
Houston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Blanco 6 5 3 3 2 6 94 2.09
Martinez, W, 2-2 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 1.96
Pressly, H, 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 17 5.27
Hader, S, 3-4 1 0 0 0 1 2 22 5.93

Inherited runners-scored—Speier 2-2, Bolton 3-1. WP—Pressly.

Umpires—Home, Adrian Johnson; First, Quinn Wolcott; Second, Junior Valentine; Third, Ramon De Jesus.

T—2:36. A—33,796 (41,000).

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