SEATTLE – Jake Meyers had the last of three singles as part of Houston’s eighth-inning rally against former teammate Joe Smith, scoring Kyle Tucker with the go-ahead run and sending the Astros over the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Monday night.
Dylan Moore had a pinch-hit, two-run homer for Seattle in the sixth for a 3-2 lead. But that was erased in the eighth as Smith (2-3) couldn’t get outs against his former team and Seattle made a pair of defensive miscues.
“We just didn’t execute defensively as good as we normally do. ... It’s something we’ve been very good at throughout the course of the year and tonight, we did make a couple mistakes there that caught, that hurt us and you can't do that against a good team," Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Yuli Gurriel led off with a single and advanced to second when J.P. Crawford failed to make a clean catch on the throw from the outfield.
Tucker followed with a hitt to score Gurriel and in four pitches Seattle’s lead was gone. Tucker stole second with one out and Meyers capped the comeback with a single to left field off Smith.
Tucker scored without a throw and despite stumbling momentarily between second and third.
“Anytime you can send them you got to send them and take a chance,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work but most of the time it does.”
Moore double-clutched before throwing.
“He did stumble and then I just made the wrong read and didn’t throw it when I should have,” Moore said.
Meyers' single came after falling behind 0-2 in the count and fouling off a couple of pitches.
“I got down 0-2, but I had seen two of his main pitches and so I was just trying to get a barrel on it and hit it hard somewhere. And I did that,” Meyers said.
Houston reliever Ryne Stanek struck out the side in the eighth and Ryan Pressly worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 22nd save.
Houston has won five of six and its rally was another blow to Seattle’s waffling playoff hopes. The Mariners have lost four of five on their current homestand, dropped 8½ back of the Astros in the AL West and failed to make up a game on Boston in the wild card.
Moore provided Seattle a needed jolt when he homered off Houston reliever Brooks Raley for the second time this season. It was Moore’s first homer since July 26 when he hit an eighth-inning grand slam off Raley to cap Seattle’s rally for an 11-8 victory.
Jose Marmolejos also homered for Seattle after being selected from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day.
Houston scored twice in the first against Chris Flexen but failed to add on despite plenty of base runners. Yordan Alvarez’s RBI single and Tucker’s sacrifice fly gave Houston the early lead.
Flexen allowed eight hits but kept Houston from getting a key hit with runners in scoring position. Flexen has allowed three earned runs or less in 20 of his 25 starts this season.
Houston starter Luis Garcia pitched into the sixth and allowed five hits and two earned runs. He struck out six.
Houston recalled RHP Brandon Bielak from Triple-A Sugar Land. RHP Bryan Abreu was optioned to Sugar Land after Sunday’s game. ... Seattle designated RHP Jimmy Yacabonis for assignment to clear a spot for Marmolejos.
Astros: 3B Alex Bregman was out of the lineup on Monday. Manager Dusty Baker said the plan was for Bregman to play three games and then take a day off after he returned from the injured list last week due to a quad injury. He expected Bregman back in the lineup on Tuesday. ... Baker said C Jason Castro was getting a second opinion on his surgically repaired knee. Castro was placed on the injured list on Sunday, but had not played since last Tuesday.
Mariners: Servais said OF Kyle Lewis (knee) won't go out on a rehab assignment early this week. Lewis reported general soreness from an extensive workout on Sunday and his timeline for a rehab assignment was being evaluated.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (10-4, 3.32) is 2-0 this season against the Mariners. McCullers allowed two runs over six innings in a win over Seattle on Aug. 20.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (7-7, 4.33) was rocked for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on Aug. 20 against the Astros. Kikuchi has lost four of his past five decisions dating to July 7 and has not pitched beyond six innings since July 1.
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