Haniger, France lead Mariners past Astros 7-2

Tom Murphy #2 of the Seattle Mariners beats the tag by Jason Castro #18 of the Houston Astros to score off an RBI double by Mitch Haniger #17 during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park on April 18, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.
Tom Murphy #2 of the Seattle Mariners beats the tag by Jason Castro #18 of the Houston Astros to score off an RBI double by Mitch Haniger #17 during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park on April 18, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – Ty France hit a two-run home run, six Seattle pitchers combined on a one-hitter and the Mariners beat the depleted Houston Astros 7-2 on Sunday.

France followed Mitch Haniger’s two-run triple with a two-run home run to left field in the decisive four-run fifth inning to give the Mariners the series. Seattle has won four of five and has come from behind in six of 10 victories.

Haniger and France, who bat first and second in the lineup, also had back-to-back RBI doubles in the seventh inning. France has reached base safely in 14 of 16 games and said having Haniger batting before him has made his life easier.

“Guys don't want to pitch to Mitch, so hopefully they'll pitch to me," France said. "We’re feeding off each other well right now.”

The loss was Houston’s seventh in its last eight games and comes with five players — including four starters — still on the injured list due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We made some mistakes in the heart of the plate and they didn’t miss them,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.

Seattle starter Nick Margevicius left in the top of the fifth with a 3-1 count to Chas McCormick due to fatigue trailing 2-1 after giving up one hit and one unearned run while striking out three. LJay Newsome (1-0), Casey Sadler, Anthony Misiewicz, Rafael Montero and Drew Steckenrider combined for five innings of hitless relief.

The Mariners bullpen is 6-1 with five saves in the last 11 games, giving up just six earned runs in 35 2/3 innings.