HOUSTON (AP) — Abraham Toro pinch-hit for injured All-Star Julio Rodriguez and delivered a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Seattle Mariners topped the Houston Astros 5-4 in the AL-West on the night Saturday’s .
Rodriguez was hit in the back of the hand as he swung at a pitch in the top of the eighth inning. He struck out, but played on the field in the bottom half of the inning before getting up in the ninth.
Seattle manager Scott Servais said Rodriguez will get X-rays later Saturday.
“He wasn’t comfortable with a bat in his hand,” Servais said. “Well, we’ll pray it doesn’t break.”
The 21-year-old Rodriguez, who was 0-for-4 with three hits, has 18 homers and 57 RBIs and is hitting .274 in his rookie season.
The Mariners beat Houston for the first time since June 8, snapping a five-game losing streak against the Astros.
Ryan Pressly (3-3) entered the ninth inning having converted 21 of his 24 save opportunities this season. Pressly gave up two runs on two hits, walked one and struck out two in the loss in his first save since June 23 against the New York Yankees.
“He’s somebody who’s generally aggressive, so I know he likes to attack the zone,” Toro, who played three seasons with Houston, said of Pressly. “I was already swinging from the start.”
Astros manager Dusty Baker added: “He’s been a thorn in our side since we traded him there. It was a great success that he achieved tonight.”
Eric Swanson (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win and Paul Sewald recorded his 13th save in 16 tries.
“We’ve had some crazy come-from-behind, crazy games since I’ve been here,” Servais said. “That might be near the top of the list of all the things that happened and where we are.”
Seattle starter Chris Flexen pitched eight straight batters at one point but didn’t pitch in the decision. Flexen allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings. It was his third no-decision in his last eight starts.
Aledmys Diaz led off the fifth with a solo homer to left field. Diaz has hit three home runs in the last two games and nine for the season. Diaz finished 3 for 3 with two RBIs.
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Houston rallied with back-to-back doubles by Martín Maldonado and Jose Altuve and a single by Yuli Gurriel for a 4-3 lead.
Seattle got a three-run lead on singles by Eugenio Suárez and Adam Frazier, and a fielder’s choice by JP Crawford in the first, as Valdez struck out two batters in the frame.
Valdez settled down after the first and allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out seven in seven innings. It marks his career-high 18th quality start in the majors and 17th in a row, the second-longest streak in Astros history.
“It was great for me to be able to bounce back from something like that,” Valdez said. “Just showing the intensity and focus I can have after a tough innings to be able to play the rest of the game.”
Seattle’s Sam Haggerty was hit in the forehead by his thrown helmet after he failed to get an out in the ninth inning and threw his gear away in frustration. The helmet bounced off and hit him on the head.
Mariners: LHP Tommy Milone was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a cervical strain. As a result, LHP Brennan Bernardino was optioned from Triple-A Tacoma and OF Marcus Wilson was designated for assignment. … OF Dylan Moore left Saturday’s game with back spasms.
Mariners: George Kirby (2-3, 3.50 ERA) is set to make his first start against the Astros on Sunday to close out the four-game series. Last time out, Kirby took a no-decision against Texas, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out four in five innings.
Astros: Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 4.25 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday, trying to get back on the winning side. Odorizzi’s last win came on July 10 in Oakland. Last time out, Odorizzi was tagged for six runs on seven hits in a loss to the Athletics.
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