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Bryce Miller picks up first win since April 17 as Mariners hold off Astros 3-2

Seattle gets all its runs in 1st inning off Framber Valdez

By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer
Published: May 27, 2024, 9:33pm
8 Photos
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryce Miller makes a fist after pitching through the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 27, 2024, in Seattle.
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryce Miller makes a fist after pitching through the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 27, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson) Photo Gallery

SEATTLE — Bryce Miller allowed two runs over six innings to pick up his first win since April 17, and the Seattle Mariners used a big first inning against Houston starter Framber Valdez to hold on for a 3-2 win over the Astros on Monday night.

Seattle scored three times in the first off Valdez and then leaned on its pitching to make the early lead stand up. Miller did his part and then turned it over to relievers Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier and Andrés Muñoz to close out the victory.

Muñoz got three outs for his 11th save.

Miller (4-5) had lost his last four decisions, including his past three starts. In his four previous May starts, Miller allowed 15 earned runs after yielding just eight runs over six starts during the first month of the season.

But he seemed to rediscover a bit of his dominant form from that first month, striking out six and walking a pair. Miller said part of the success was noticing batters being more aggressive on his pitches early in counts, forcing him to be better with his location.

“For me (it’s) just trying to make sure I’m still getting ahead, but with certain hitters in the lineup not making a mistake just trying to get ahead,” Miller said. “Being aggressive on the corner early and then working off of that.”

Miller cruised through the first four innings and retired 12 straight after issuing a walk to Kyle Tucker, the second batter of the game. But he ran into trouble in the fifth when he gave up three straight singles, the last coming from José Abreu, which scored Jake Meyers. Victor Caratini’s sacrifice fly plated another run and after Jose Altuve doubled, Miller escaped the jam by getting a groundout from Tucker.

Miller again pitched out of trouble in the sixth, putting two runners on before Jon Singleton flied out to the warning track in right-center to end the threat.

Abreu was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land ahead of Monday’s game and his single was his first big league hit since April 27. The 2020 AL MVP was batting .099 when he accepted an assignment to the minors on May 1.

All of Seattle’s offense came early. Meyers made a terrific sliding catch to rob Cal Raleigh of extra bases but it still resulted in a sacrifice fly. Ty France and Mitch Haniger followed with two-out RBI singles as Valdez faced eight batters in the first inning. He needed 43 pitches to get through the first two innings, but Seattle was unable to add on.

“We had all kinds of traffic and we had some good at-bats when we did have traffic out there. Unfortunately, sometimes the ball doesn’t land on the grass like you want it to,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Valdez (3-3) allowed just two baserunners over his final four innings on the mound and was able to get through six. He permitted six hits, struck out four and walked three.

“I thought it took him a little bit of time for his sinker to be down and to execute. He just wasn’t executing his pitches like he wanted to,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Then after that he settled in and he threw a heck of a game.”

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Astros: RHP Hunter Brown (1-5, 7.06) allowed just two hits and two runs over six innings in his last start but suffered his fifth loss.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.31) lost his last time out giving up two runs over five innings against the Yankees.

————

MARINERS 3, ASTROS 2

Houston AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Altuve 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .295
Tucker rf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .276
Alvarez lf 3 0 0 0 1 0 .265
Bregman 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .206
Peña ss 4 0 0 0 0 4 .314
Meyers cf 4 1 2 0 0 1 .300
Singleton dh 4 1 1 0 0 2 .234
J.Abreu 1b 3 0 1 1 0 1 .108
Caratini c 2 0 1 1 0 0 .261
Totals 31 2 6 2 2 9
Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Crawford ss 4 1 2 0 0 1 .217
Moore 3b-2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .239
Rodríguez cf 4 1 2 0 0 1 .265
Garver dh 2 1 0 0 2 0 .171
Raleigh c 3 0 0 1 0 0 .210
France 1b 3 0 1 1 1 0 .244
Haniger rf 3 0 1 1 0 1 .213
Raley rf-lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .275
Bliss 2b 2 0 0 0 1 0 .000
a-Canzone ph-rf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .212
Clase lf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .176
b-Rojas ph-3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .281
Totals 29 3 6 3 5 5
Houston 000 020 000—2 6 0
Seattle 300 000 00x—3 6 1

a-grounded out for Bliss in the 8th. b-grounded out for Clase in the 8th.

E—Bliss (1). LOB—Houston 5, Seattle 9. 2B—Altuve (11), Crawford (3). RBI—J.Abreu (4), Caratini (12), Raleigh (29), France (21), Haniger (24). SB—Rodríguez 2 (13), Raley (4). SF—Caratini, Raleigh.

Runners left in scoring position—Houston 3 (Singleton, Tucker 2); Seattle 5 (Raleigh, Clase, Garver, Rojas, Bliss). RISP—Houston 2 for 5; Seattle 3 for 11.

GIDP—Altuve.

DP—Seattle 1 (Crawford, Bliss, France).

Houston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Valdez, L, 3-3 6 6 3 3 3 4 96 4.34
Montero 1 0 0 0 2 1 27 3.18
Scott 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 1.67
Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Miller, W, 4-5 6 5 2 2 2 6 93 3.48
Thornton, H, 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 10 2.82
Speier, H, 6 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 6.32
Muñoz, S, 11-12 1 0 0 0 0 2 15 1.54

HBP—Scott (Raley). WP—Valdez (2).

Umpires—Home, Larry Vanover; First, David Rackley; Second, Nate Tomlinson; Third, Chris Segal.

T—2:30. A—23,814 (47,929).

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