Toro pinch-hits for J-Rod, rallies Mariners over Astros 5-4

Toro pinch-hits for J-Rod, rallies Mariners over Astros 5-4

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By JOSHUA KOCH
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Abraham Toro pinch-hit for All-Star Julio Rodriguez and delivered a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Seattle Mariners rallied past the AL-West leading Houston Astros 5-4 on Saturday night.

Rodriguez was hit on the hand as he swung at a pitch in the top of the eighth inning. He struck out, but played in the field in the bottom half of the inning before being lifted in the ninth. There was no immediate word on Rodriguez’s condition.

The Mariners beat Houston for the first time since June 8, snapping a five-game losing streak to the Astros.

Astros closer Ryan Pressly (3-3) entered the ninth inning having converted 21 of his 24 save opportunities this season. Pressly gave up two runs on two hits, walked one and struck out two in the loss in his first blown save since June 23, which came against the New York Yankees.

Erik Swanson (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning and earned the win, and Paul Sewald recorded his 13th save in 16 attempts.

Seattle starter Chris Flexen set down eight straight batters at one point but didn’t figure in the decision. Flexen allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and a strikeout in 5 1/3 innings. It was his third no-decision in his last eight starts.

Aledmys Diaz led off the fifth with a solo homer to left field. Diaz has hit three home runs in the last two games and nine for the season. Diaz finished 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs.

Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Houston rallied with back-to-back doubles by Martín Maldonado and Jose Altuve and a single from Yuli Gurriel for a 4-3 lead.

Seattle pushed across three runs on singles from Eugenio Suárez and Adam Frazier, and a fielder’s choice by J.P. Crawford in the first as Valdez hit two batters in the frame.

Valdez settled in after the first and allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out seven in seven innings. It marks his majors-leading 18th quality start and his 17th straight, the second-longest streak in Astros history.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Tommy Milone was placed on the 15-day injured list on Saturday with a cervical muscle strain. As a result, LHP Brennan Bernardino was selected from Triple-A Tacoma and OF Marcus Wilson was designated for assignment. … OF Dylan Moore left Saturday’s game with back spasms.

UP NEXT

Mariners: George Kirby (2-3, 3.50 ERA) is set to make his first start against the Astros on Sunday to close out the four-game series. Last time out, Kirby got a no-decision against Texas, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out four in five innings.

Astros: Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 4.25 ERA) is slated to start Sunday, looking to get back on the winning side. Odorizzi’s last win came on July 10, at Oakland. Last time out, Odorizzi was tagged for six runs on seven hits in a loss to the Athletics.

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