Kikuchi struggles, Astros take series opener over Mariners 11-2

Sep 6, 2021, 8:01 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros rookie Jake Meyers homered and drove in four runs as Houston jumped on Yusei Kikuchi early and sailed to an 11-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

Astros 11, Mariners 2: Box score

Kikuchi (7-8) allowed three hits but was done in by an error behind him and four walks, which equaled a season high, over 1 2/3 innings in his shortest start this season. He gave up six runs, four earned.

The victory ended a two-game skid for the AL West leaders and snapped Seattle’s five-game winning streak.

Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. (11-4) permitted four hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in six innings for his third consecutive win.

Kikuchi faced Houston for the third time in four starts and for the sixth time this season. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Astros in his last start but did not factor in the decision in a 4-0 win last Tuesday.

Things haven’t gone nearly as well for him in Houston this year, and Monday was his second straight tough start at Minute Maid Park after he tied a career high by permitting seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on Aug. 20.

This time, he walked Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker to load the bases with no outs in the second. Aledmys Díaz reached on a fielder’s choice as an error by second baseman Abraham Toro allowed two runs to score.

Two pitches later, Meyers sent a changeup from Kikuchi to left field for a three-run homer that extended the lead to 5-0.

Jose Altuve doubled with one out and Yordan Alvarez’s RBI double with two outs made it 6-0 and chased Kikuchi.

Toro, traded from Houston in July, drove in two runs on a double in the third to cut the deficit to 6-2.

Meyers added an RBI single in a two-run fifth to push the margin to 8-2.

Kyle Tucker hit a two-run double as the Astros tacked on three more in the sixth.

The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Cal Raleigh grounded into a double play to end the game and give Brandon Bielak his first career save.

Bielak gave up one hit and four walks in three scoreless innings.


Astros: Manager Dusty Baker said RHP Zack Greinke (health and safety protocols) could return to the ballpark and throw a bullpen this weekend. Baker isn’t sure when Greinke will return to the rotation. … RHP Andre Scrubb (right shoulder strain) struck out two and walked one in one inning during his second rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Sugar Land. … RHP Pedro Báez (right shoulder soreness) has started throwing on flat ground.


Houston RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-7, 4.32 ERA) opposes Logan Gilbert (5-5, 5.14) when the series continues Tuesday night.

Mariners Table Setter: Kyle Seager is cementing his M’s legend status

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 64° | Low 55°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Angels today at 1:07pm

Fri, Sep 24 @ 6:38 pm
Starting Pitcher:
Seattle’s Logan Gilbert

Chevrolet Silverado

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Angels Shohei Ohtani...
The Associated Press

Ohtani triples twice, Mariners’ win streak snapped in 14-1 Angels rout

Shohei Ohtani tripled in his first two at-bats and the Los Angeles Angels routed Seattle 14-1 on Saturday night, ending the Mariners’ six-game winning streak and damaging their playoff chances.
24 hours ago
The Associated Press

Mariners hold off Angels 6-5 late to keep pace in AL Wild Card chase

The streaking Mariners keep on winning, this time beating the Angels 6-5 to stay in the thick of the American League Wild Card race.
2 days ago
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Making sense of Mariners’ playoff chances with just 9 games left

How could the Mariners make the playoffs in 2021 with just nine games remaining? Shannon Drayer breaks down what needs to happen.
2 days ago
Mariners Yusei Kikuchi...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: With Yusei Kikuchi’s next start uncertain, could Mariners turn to Matt Brash?

The Mariners haven't made a decision on Yusei Kikuchi's next start, but Shannon Drayer explains how they could turn to prospect Matt Brash.
2 days ago
Mariners infield...
Brent Stecker

The Mariners just brought fun back to fall baseball in Seattle

The Mariners are 5-1 on their current road trip and just finished a four-game sweep of the A's to pull within two games of a playoff spot.
3 days ago
Mariners Luis Torrens...
The Associated Press

Mariners slug their way back to beat A’s 6-5, complete 4-game sweep

Luis Torrens broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run homer in the sixth and the Mariners came back from three runs down to beat the A's 6-5 and complete a huge four-game sweep.
3 days ago
Kikuchi struggles, Astros take series opener over Mariners 11-2