HOUSTON – Lance McCullers, Jr. made a triumphant return to the mound Saturday night in Seattle, helping lead the Astros to a 5-2 victory.
Outfielder Josh Reddick provided McCullers with defensive support on the first inning when he made a spectacular diving catch on the game's first batter, Jean Segura.
Then Reddick provided offensive support with a two-run home run to center field in the third inning to put the Astrso in front 2-0.
McCullers had not pitched since June 8th due to a sore back, but didn't allow a hit to the Mariners until the 5th inning. In fact, he retired the first 12 batters before allowing a pair of hits to open the 5th inning, which put runners on 2nd and 3rd with none out.
With the help of a pair of strikeouts and a nice defensive play from second baseman Jose Altuve, he escaped the inning with no runs scored.
He left the game in the sixth inning and ended his day with a sparkling line of five innings pitched, one run allowed with eight strikeouts and no walks.
Catcher Brian McCann delivered a huge bases-clearing double in the seventh inning with two outs. That put the Astros in front 5-1.
Closer Ken Giles struggled in the ninth inning, walking three consecutive batters, the last of which forced in a run, but was able to close out the Astros 51st win of the season.