SEATTLE – Dylan Moore hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to an 11-8 comeback win against the Houston Astros on Monday night.
Houston scored six runs in the first and led 7-0 in the fourth before Seattle started to rally. The seven-run deficit is the most the Mariners have overcome this season, and the largest cushion the AL West-leading Astros have lost.
In the eighth, the Mariners loaded the bases with two outs down 8-7. Moore launched reliever Brooks Raley’s 1-1 pitch into the left field second deck for his fourth homer of the season to complete the comeback.
“It’s hard to describe. It boils down to the best baseball moment of my career so far,” Moore said.
After giving up Moore’s slam, Raley hit J.P. Crawford in the back with a 3-1 pitch and was ejected. Crawford had three hits and scored twice.
Kendall Graveman (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Paul Sewald earned his fourth save with a perfect ninth.
“It’s tough when you get down like that, and certainly against a team that’s leading the division with one of the best records in baseball,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “You’re in a situation where we’re at in the standings fighting for something against the first-place team, so this one’s pretty darn special.”
Ryne Stanek (1-2) took the loss.
Six straight Houston batters scored in the opening inning against rookie Darren McCaughan, making his first career start. Martin Maldonado added a solo homer in the fourth.
The Mariners made it a game with a three-run double by Cal Raleigh in the fourth and a three-run homer from Kyle Seager in the fifth.
“This hurts a lot. We made some mistakes, we walked some hitters,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We couldn’t put the horse back in the barn and we didn’t score anymore. We know their bullpen has been pitching great lately.”
Houston starter Luis Garcia allowed career highs of six runs, five earned. He gave up six hits and a walk while striking out nine.
The start for McCaughan came after he pitched five no-hit innings in his major league debut against the Rockies last Wednesday.
McCaughan got leadoff hitter Jose Altuve for his first career strikeout but gave up his first hit to the next batter when Michael Brantley’s comebacker deflected off his glove. The Astros just kept hitting, with six runs scoring before McCaughan got a second out. Kyle Tucker’s three-run homer was the biggest blow, followed by a solo shot from Abraham Toro.
McCaughan regrouped, pitching four innings and giving up seven runs overall. With the Mariners’ bullpen depleted after a tough previous series against the Athletics, getting a few extra innings after the rough start was crucial for Seattle.
“We don’t have anybody else available tonight. He had to go four innings for us in this game to have any chance,” Servais said. “Literally after the first inning and how it was going, you’re starting to think, do I need to throw a position player at the end of this thing? We were that short on the pitching side.”
Raley said it was the first time he’d ever been thrown out of a game.
“Major league, minor league, anywhere. There was no intention there. Ball got away from me,” he said.
After Crawford was hit, Servais appeared to be the most animated, yelling from the dugout steps.
“You can’t let pitches get away like that and hit somebody after you give up a grand slam,” Servais said. “Was it on purpose? I don’t know. It was a very emotional game and I’m glad he got ejected.”
Astros: INF Aledmys Diaz (broken left hand) was activated from the 10-day injured list and INF Robel Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land.
Mariners: OF Jake Fraley will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma this week after being on the COVID-19 injured list since July 18. Fraley took part in the pregame workout, Servais said. … LHP Justus Sheffield (left forearm strain) threw off a mound Sunday and is expected to throw a full bullpen Wednesday.
READY TO RETURN
Seattle LHP Hector Santiago, the first player penalized under Major League Baseball’s foreign substance crackdown, has served his 10-game suspension and will be available to pitch Tuesday.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (7-2, 3.04 ERA) has allowed three runs or fewer in 15 of his 16 starts this season.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (9-4, 3.35) will make his 19th start of the season and 12th at home, where he is 6-2 with a 1.89 ERA. The Mariners are 13-5 when Flexen starts.
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