Astros top Mariners, 7-3, in first game after All-Star break
Astros beat Mariners; Springer leads off game with home run
HOUSTON – The Houston Astros were surging before the All-Star break gave them four days off, but they picked right back up where they left off with a 7-3 win at Seattle in their first game back from the break.
George Springer led off the game with a home run, the fourth time he's done that in 45 games since being moved into the lead off spot in the order.
It was also the 10th time the Astros have led off a game with a home run.
Doug Fister gave the Astros four shutout innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
He allowed three runs in the fifth inning, but was holding a 6-0 lead heading into the fifth and he picked up the win to move to 9-6 on the season.
The bullpen delivered a shutout inning apiece from Michael Feliz, Ken Giles, Luke Gregerson and Chris Devenski and that foursome recorded seven strikeouts among their 12 outs.
Carlos Correa broke the game open in the fifth inning when he rapped a double off the wall in left-center field. That brought in two runs and put the Astros up 5-0.
Two pitches later, Correa would score on a wild pitch all the way from second base to put Houston up, 6-0.
With the Rangers losing 6-0 at the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day, Houston moved to within 4.5 games of the American League West division leaders.
Houston also gained a game on the Toronto Blue Jays in the wild card race. Houston is now one game behind Toronto for the second wild card spot.
Houston will send Lance McCullers (4-3, 3.79 ERA) to the mound on Saturday and he'll be opposed by Hisashi Iwakuma (9-6, 4.25 ERA).
Marwin Gonzalez belted his