Toro hits grand slam off Graveman, lifts Mariners to 4-0 win over Astros
SEATTLE (AP) — Abraham Toro hit a grand slam against a player he was traded for last month, connecting in the eighth inning and sending the Seattle Mariners over the Houston Astros 4-0 on Tuesday night.
Mariners 4, Astros 0: Box Score
Toro’s homer came off former Mariners reliever Kendall Gravemen — they were both part of a four-player swap on July 27.
🕙🕙🕙 IT'S TORO TIME 🕙🕙🕙 pic.twitter.com/QG13d6UCpo
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 1, 2021
The Astros rallied Monday night against Joe Smith, who also was part of that trade, for a 4-3 win. Toro turned the tables the next night with his first career slam.
Graveman (5-1) walked J.P. Crawford to start his rugged return to T-Mobile Park. After striking out Mitch Haniger, he gave up a single to Kyle Seager and then hit Ty France to load the bases and bring up Toro in an at-bat loaded with meaning for the young player.
Toro responded with his third home run against the Astros since being dealt.
Yusei Kikuchi pitched seven sharp innings for Seattle, allowing four hits and striking out four. Paul Sewald (9-3) gave up a double to Jose Altuve in the eighth, but struck out three to get the win.
Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. and relievers Luis Garcia and Blake Taylor had retired 10 straight going into the eighth.
Kikuchi pitched beyond the sixth inning for the first time since July 1. He helped himself with a seven-pitch fifth inning that included a strikeout. And an eight-pitch seventh inning included a double play after Alex Bregman’s leadoff single.
Kikuchi also outsprinted Yuli Gurriel to the first-base bag to complete a groundout and the inning in the sixth, stranding Carlos Correa at second.
Kikuchi had lost four of his previous five decisions, giving up seven runs to the Astros in their last meeting on Aug. 20.
McCullers Jr. gave up four hits over five innings with three strikeouts and three walks. He got out of bases-loaded jams in the first and fourth innings, but was pulled after 102 pitches.
France set the Mariners’ franchise record when he was hit by a pitch for the 20th time this season. He was hit by Graveman, a former teammate.
The Astros signed veteran catcher Drew Butera to a minor league contract and he’s expected to join Triple-A Sugar Land this week. Butera has played in parts of 12 major league seasons, most recently starting 12 games for the Los Angeles Angels in May. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Salt Lake.
Mariners: RHP Diego Castillo (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to make a rehab appearance at Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, manager Scott Servais said. Castillo has been out since Aug. 20.
Astros: RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.46) looks for his third straight win in the series finale against Seattle.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (5-5, 5.44) looks to snap a three-game losing streak.