Chris Young (12-8, 3.33) vs Dallas Keuchel (11-9, 3.00)
And that was significantly more fun - at least for Astros fans. Four home runs by the Mariners last night had them laughing across the finish line, but tonight Houston had the first, last, and every laugh in between. Five Astros home runs tied a season high, Dallas Keuchel was dominant (as usual), and together they denied Seattle the chance to move up into an AL Wild Card spot. 10-1 Houston final, as they snap their 4-game losing streak and improve to 68-87 with 7 games left for 2014.
On the Mound:
*Dallas Keuchel has not allowed more than 2 ER in a start since August 21. He has not allowed more than 3 ER in a start since August 10. So it's no surprise at all that he allowed only 1 ER in 8 innings of outstanding work tonight. 120 pitches, 87 for strikes, and a 12:1 GB:FB ratio; 8 strikeouts tied a season high, and no extra-base hits allowed. Basically Kid Keuchy owned the Mariners tonight, much to their chagrin and Houston's delight. Line: 8 IP / 7 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 8 K.
*Mike Foltynewicz gave Keuchel the 9th inning off, allowing a leadoff single to Kyle Seager, but then retiring the final three Mariners in order (1 K) to finish out the game.
At the Plate:
*Bad night for Chris Young and the Seattle playoff chase, but great night for the Astros bats. First blood was drawn by cHRis Carter (1x4) in the 1st, who hit his first home run in more than two weeks - a 2-run shot for his 37th of the season.
*Two batters later in the 1st, Alex Presley added another 2-run homer (his 6th), and later also singled and scored again to finish 2x4 with a K.
*Home run #3 came from Matt Dominguez' solo shot in the 4th - his first since August 31 and 16th overall. Matty D finished 1x4 with a K.
*One pitch later, Carlos Corporan belted Houston HR #4 (his 6th); he also finished 1x4, with 2 K.
*Young was done after Corp's home run, but the Astros offense was not, as Jake Marisnick struck the final blow with a 3-run HR (his 2nd) in the 7th. Handsome Jake finished 1x4 with 2 K.
*Mike Bob Grossman walked twice, singled once, stole a base, was caught stealing another, and ended up 1x3 with a run scored.
*Jose Altuve keeps on hitting, of course, with another ho-hum 2x4 night and a RBI. For those counting - or not counting - that's 218 hits on the season for Jose.
*Dexter Fowler did not hit a home run, but he did double, scored twice, and finished 3x4 with a K.
*Gregorio Petit doubled, scored a run, went 1x4 with a K, and every Houston hitter had at least one hit.
Astros early and often. Robbie Grossman led off the Houston half of the 1st with a single to left, after which Jose Altuve lined out. But then Chris Carter went deep into the Crawford Boxes for a 2-0 Astros lead. Dexter Fowler doubled to right, then Alex Presley homered also to right, and Chris Young visibly deflated.
Man of the Match:
Dallas Keuchel. Fine showing in his final outing for the home fans, and his penultimate performance of 2014.
Goat of the Game:
Matt Dominguez and Gregorio Petit both had fielding errors, but of no consequence this night. No goat!