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Suárez hits 2 homers, Crawford has 1 as Mariners beat Astros 5-1


AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — Eugenio Suárez homered twice with three RBIs and J.P. Crawford added a solo shot to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

“Home runs work and we saw it tonight,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.

Suárez connected off Ronel Blanco (2-1) to make it 2-0 in the second and Crawford’s homer put Seattle up 3-0 an inning later. Suárez, who also doubled, made it 5-1 with his second home run to start the ninth and give him 14 career multi-homer games.

“To start this series with a win was very important to us,” Suárez said.

Seattle starter George Kirby (8-7) allowed six hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings to help the Mariners win for the fifth time in six games.

Servais praised his players for their effort after the Mariners arrived at their hotel at 5 a.m. Thursday morning following a game in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

“Guys are dragging and a ton of credit to our team to show up today,” he said. “Energy was good knowing that you’re tired, but we know who the opposition is. You’ve got to bring your best game to beat them and we played a really good ballgame.”

Corey Julks had three hits and an RBI and Yainer Diaz added two hits for the Astros, whose four-game winning streak was snapped.

Julks is 9 for 11 in his last three games.

“Just keep it coming,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s just a matter of belief. When you’re feeling hot you think you’re going to get a hit every time up.”

Blanco yielded three hits and three runs with a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings after being recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land on Thursday. He has allowed 11 home runs combined in six starts this season.

“He didn’t give up many hits… he’s just been plagued by the home run,” Baker said.

There was a runner on first with one out in the second when the soaring shot by Suárez landed in the seats in left field to put the Mariners up 2-0.

Crawford’s eighth homer of the season came with one out in the third.

Blanco settled in after Crawford’s home run, retiring the next nine batters before Julio Rodríguez singled on a grounder with one out in the sixth. Blanco plunked Ty France after that, but Teoscar Hernandez grounded out before Jarred Kelenic struck out to end the inning.

Diaz singled to start Houston’s second but was erased when Jeremy Peña grounded into a force for the second out. Julks singled to send Peña to third, but Kirby retired Martin Maldonado on a fly out to end the threat.

Suárez doubled with no outs in the seventh and scored a single to right field by Cal Raleigh to make it 4-0. Mike Ford struck out looking on a pitch outside the zone and was ejected after barking about it by home plate umpire Nestor Ceja.

Diaz singled to start Houston’s seventh and scored on a two-out double by Julks to cut the lead to 4-1 and chase Kirby. He was replaced by Matt Brash, who struck out pinch-hitter Bligh Madris for the third out.


Astros: 2B Jose Altuve was placed on the injured list Thursday, retroactive to Tuesday, with left oblique discomfort. Altuve was injured in batting practice before Tuesday’s game. He said that he has a mild strain and should return soon after the All-Star break.


The Astros didn’t hit one out of the park Thursday to end a streak of 17 consecutive games with at least one home run.


The Mariners recalled right-hander Isaiah Campbell from Double-A Arkansas Thursday after designating left-hander Tommy Milone for assignment.


Seattle RHP Luis Castillo (5-6, 3.05 ERA) opposes RHP Hunter Brown (6-5, 3.76) when the series continues Friday night.


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