Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2103
Seattle0 0 2 0 3 0 0 1 x 680
  W: G. Kirby (12-10)   L: C. Javier (9-5)
7:05 PM PT8:05 PM MT9:05 PM CT10:05 PM ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 PM MST9:05 PM EST9:35 PM VEN6:05 UAE (+1)8:05 PM CT, September 26, 2023
T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington  Attendance: 40,035

Astros, Mariners continue battle for playoff spot

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners

  1. The Mariners are 8-2 against the Astros this year (2-1 in Seattle, 6-1 in Houston), with seven of the 10 games decided by a one- or two-run margin. The Mariners were 19-48 against the Astros over the previous four seasons combined.
  2. The Astros have lost four consecutive series (1-2 vs. A's, 1-2 at Kansas City, 1-2 vs. Orioles, 0-3 vs. Royals) for only the second time in the last seven seasons (2017-23). Houston also lost four straight series in April 2021. The Astros haven't lost five straight series since 2014.
  3. Justin Verlander is 11-2 with a 2.98 ERA in his 15 starts for the Astros against the Mariners. He allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of those 15 starts and won each of those 11 games.
  4. Seattle's 9-8 loss to the Rangers yesterday marked only the second time the Mariners lost a game in which they scored seven or more runs this season (34 wins). Seattle's other loss of that kind was to the Cubs in Chicago on April 11 (14-9).
  5. The 2023 Mariners are the first team in major-league history with four batters who each had 150 or more strikeouts (Eugenio Suarez 206, Teoscar Hernandez 199, Julio Rodriguez 165, Cal Raleigh 151). With one more strikeout by Hernandez, they will become the first team in MLB history with two batters who each struck out 200 or more times in the same season.
  6. Luis Castillo is 8-0 with a 3.14 ERA over his last 10 starts and the Mariners won every game. Castillo's eight-decision winning streak is the longest of his major-league career. This is the second time since 2002 that Seattle won 10 or more consecutive starts in one season by a particular pitcher. The Mariners won 11 straight starts by Logan Gilbert in 2021.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/25/2023 thru 9/27/2023
(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

The Seattle Mariners aren't in must-win mode just yet, but it's getting close.

The Mariners (84-72) dropped 1 1/2 games behind Houston (86-71) in the chase for the American League's third and final wild-card playoff berth with a 5-1 loss to the visiting Astros on Monday night.

Seattle, which will play host to Houston again on Tuesday, has two games left against the Astros before concluding the regular season with a four-game home series against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers (88-68).

"It's really a game at a time right now," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We can't look any farther ahead. We need to win (Tuesday's) game. That's just where we're at in our season."

The Mariners have lost four games in a row overall, and they lost the past 10 games they played against teams with winning records.

"We know what's at stake," Seattle shortstop J.P. Crawford said. "That (stuff) is in the past now. We have to look forward to (Tuesday). We've got bigger games ahead of us right now. There's nothing we can do about these games, terrible losses. ... We have to keep our heads up and look at the positive side to play (Tuesday)."

The Astros got a vintage performance out of Justin Verlander to win the series opener on Monday. The 40-year-old right-hander took a shutout into the ninth inning and wound up allowing one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in eight-plus innings.

"This is just one of those years where nothing has been easy," said Verlander, referring to the Astros being swept in a three-game series by the lowly Kansas City Royals over the weekend to drop out of the division lead. "Maybe catch the right timing here and this can be the start of something, hopefully."

Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker went deep for the Astros, who snapped Mariners ace Luis Castillo's streak of eight consecutive victories. Houston remains 2 1/2 games behind Texas in the division.

The Tuesday game is scheduled to feature a matchup of right-handers, Houston's Cristian Javier (9-4, 4.64 ERA) and Seattle's George Kirby (11-10, 3.58).

Javier is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA over his past five starts. He didn't get a decision on Wednesday in the Astros' 2-1 victory against visiting the Baltimore Orioles despite giving up just one run on three hits over five innings. He issued two walks and logged a season-high-tying 11 strikeouts.

Javier is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in eight career appearances (five starts) against the Mariners. He pitched well but didn't get a decision on May 5 in Seattle in his only meeting with the Mariners this season. Javier went seven innings and allowed three runs on three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in the Astros' 6-4 victory.

Kirby earned his first victory since Aug. 5 with a 6-3 decision on Wednesday at Oakland. He gave up three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks in seven innings.

Kirby is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in two career starts against the Astros. He beat them 5-1 on July 6 in Houston with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 26, 2023