SEATTLE – Marco Gonzales pumped his fist and let out a scream after striking out Michael Brantley on a full-count pitch to finish off eight shutout innings.
The emotion poured out. Seattle’s ace was determined to finally get the best of the Astros, and in the process he helped provide the final blow in ending Houston’s run atop the AL West.
“To be honest, I just went out and attacked them, put them on their heels. And when you do that to anybody I think it takes the wind out of their sails,” Gonzales said. “I just came in to win today. That’s it.”
Gonzales was dominant on the mound, Evan White broke open a tight game with a three-run homer in the seventh and the Mariners beat the Astros 6-1 Monday night.
Seattle’s victory clinched the AL West title for Oakland, ending Houston’s three-year reign and making the A’s the first team in the majors to lock up a division crown in this pandemic-shortened season.
The win also improved Seattle’s slim hopes of catching the Astros for second place and a guaranteed playoff spot. The Mariners are three games behind Houston with six remaining.
“What’s most important is the game at hand tonight and then the game tomorrow and the next day,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
It was just the third victory for Seattle in its past 27 meetings with Houston over the last two seasons.