May 5, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker (30) hits a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Astros delivered with late-game heroics courtesy of right fielder Kyle Tucker against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night to snap its two-game losing skid.
Houston (17-15) defeated Seattle, 6-4.
The Houston Astros put an end to Seattle’s four straight runs in the ninth inning. First baseman José Abreu drew a leadoff walk, and he was followed by Tucker in the batting order.
Seattle right-handed reliever Matt Brash and Tucker engaged in an eight-pitch battle. In the final pitch of the at-bat, it was Tucker that came out victorious.
He turned an 88-mile-per-hour slider into a 408-foot, go-ahead home run to center field that put Houston on top, 6-4. Tucker’s homer also made reliever Bryan Abreu the winning pitcher.
The ninth inning also saw Seattle manager Scott Servais get ejected from the contest for getting into a zesty argument with home plate umpire Shane Livensparger. The exchange came as the Mariners were replacing Brash with reliever Tayler Saucedo.
Servais was upset with a pitch during Tucker’s at-bat that could have been called for a strike. For Houston, right-handed pitcher Ryan Pressly shut the door on the Mariners in the ninth inning and notched the save.
After torching the Mariners (15-17) during the 2022 American League Division Series, Astros designated hitter Yordan Álvarez still had a few fireworks left in his bag on Friday.
The Cuban native launched an 88-mile-per-hour changeup from right-handed pitcher Luis Castillo toward the stands at T-Mobile Park in the third inning to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
Álvarez’s home run scored himself, center fielder Jake Meyers, who doubled to lead off the inning, and third baseman Alex Bregman, who drew a walk.
Astros tack-on run in the fourth
Tucker opened the fourth inning with a leadoff double. He was followed in the order by shortstop Jeremy Peña, who singled on a groundball that also allowed Tucker to move to third base.
A lineout from left fielder Corey Julks sandwiched Meyers’ eventful at-bat in the fourth inning. Peña was thrown out trying to steal second base following a pitch to Meyers, but the distraction allowed for Tucker to score from third base and make it 4-0 in favor of Houston.
Javier’s no-hitter gets washed away
Through four innings, Javier was pitching a gem for the Astros. He was on his way to a no-hitter and just one walk separated the right-hander from a perfect game up to that point. It came to a screeching halt in the fifth inning.
Cal Raleigh began the inning with a single that just got past the extended reach of second baseman Mauricio Dubón, which was Seattle’s first hit of the game. He was followed up by Teoscar Hernandez, who also singled. Javier responded by striking out J.P. Crawford.
However, a wild pitch that was just a bit too hot for catcher Martín Maldonado to handle allowed Raleigh to move to third base. Javier gave up a walk to Taylor Trammell, which set the stage for Kolten Wong.
The second baseman put the Mariners right back in the game with a double that allowed all three base runners to score. Houston’s deficit was cut to 4-3. When it was all said and done, Javier pitched seven innings, allowed only those three earned runs, and he struck out eight for Houston.
Right-handed reliever Bryan Abreu inherited a one-run lead when he took over for the Astros in the eighth inning. It did not last.
Seattle tied the game on a single from Eugenio Suarez, which allowed Ty France to score and tie the game, 4-4. France reached first base with a two-out single of his own. Jarred Kelenic singled on a line drive to right field to move France into scoring position at third base.
News and Notes
• Right-handed pitcher J.P. France was added to Houston’s taxi squad and will make his Major League debut Saturday. He is a 2018 14th-round pick. He has a 2-1 record with a 2.33 ERA for the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys.
• Houston traded away cash for Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Nick Allgeye.
Luis Garcia will miss the remainder of the 2023 season with Tommy John Surgery.
Manager Dusty Baker said both outfielders Michael Brantley and Chas McCormick should return to the Astros during their trip against the Los Angeles Angels, according to MLB.com.
Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys right-handed pitcher Forrest Whitley is dealing with soreness below his shoulder, and Shawn Dubin has been placed on the seven-day injured list, according to MLB.com.
The Astros return to T-Mobile Park for game two of the three-game series. France is expected to start for Houston on Saturday. He will face off against left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales. First pitch is set for 8:40 p.m. CT.