LeBlanc, Mariners ground Astros again
Wade LeBlanc rebounded well from his previous start against the Houston Astros, and the visiting Seattle Mariners turned a two-out ambush in the fourth inning into a 3-2 win on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
The Mariners evened the season series with the Astros at 6-6 and will go for the sweep of the four-game weekend series on Sunday behind right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, scheduled for reinstatement from the disabled list.
LeBlanc continued what has been a solid showing by Seattle starters, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts over five innings. Ten days ago, the Astros tagged LeBlanc for seven runs in an 8-3 victory at Safeco Field.
For a second consecutive game, the Astros sprang to a 2-0 lead, doing so when first baseman Tyler White roped a two-run single to right field off LeBlanc (7-2) with one out in the second.
Yuli Gurriel (single) and Josh Reddick (double) scored on the play, but LeBlanc recovered to retire eight consecutive batters. By the end of his outing, LeBlanc and the Mariners had the lead.
The Mariners' ambush came against Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (12-3).
After allowing two baserunners over his first three innings and facing one batter over the minimum, Morton hit Denard Span to open the fourth, but he induced Jean Segura to slap a grounder back to the mound and turned it into a double play.
Nelson Cruz sparked the uprising with a single to center and scored one pitch later when Kyle Seager followed with an RBI double off the wall fronting the home bullpen in right-center field.
Two pitches later, Seager scored the tying run when Chris Herrmann drove a 1-0 fastball to right-center for a triple. First baseman Ryon Healy added a run-scoring single to cap the rally.
Morton returned for the fifth and retired the side in order. He induced another double play to close the sixth and cap his appearance having allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
Seattle has beaten Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Morton in succession.
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz recorded his 45th save with a perfect ninth inning, including two strikeouts.
--Field Level Media
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