By: Joey Segur
Shawn O’Malley had an impressive Mariners debut as the M’s take the series, beating the Astros 8-3. The series loss for the Astros was the first series lost at home since the end of May. O’Malley’s first at bat was a RBI single in the 2nd and he also had a clutch RBI blooper into right field in the 8th inning. O’Malley finished the evening batting 3-4 with 2 RBI’s and one walk.
The final game of the series was a eventful one, starting with the O’Malley RBI single in the 2nd. The Astros added some offense in the bottom half of the inning with a RBI single to right by Preston Ticker to tie the game, followed by a sac fly to center to score Carlos Gomez. One the Mariners hottest hitters right now Franklin Gutierrez hit a ground rule double in the top of the Third, scoring Kyle Seager to tie it up 2-2, but as we saw in the bottom of the 2nd, the Astros didn’t take long for their offense to make a impact. Following the Jed Lowrie double, Evan Gattis hit a RBI single right past the reach of Robinson Cano to make it 3-2. Skipping to the top of the 5th, Kyle Seager smashed his 29th double of the season followed by Cano lining a single to drive in Seager.
The Mariners, who have struggled all year to move the runner in from scoring position, had more issues in the 7th inning. With one out and bases juiced, Mark Trumbo hit a weak fly ball to right field, on the play Nelson Cruz tagged up and was thrown out at home to make a close double play. Nelson Cruz ended up sitting out the rest of the game after that play due to a strained right quad.
Moving to the final two innings of the game, O’Malley hits a clutch RBI single to score Logan Morrison, Seth Smith grounds out to score O’Malley and Morrison drills a 2 run shot in the 9th to make the score a final of 8-3.
Taijuan Walker ended with a sub par no decision as he pitched a 3 run ball game in 6 2/3 innings with 5 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Walker was pulled after Hank Conger hit a 2 out double and Walker was already over the 100 pitch count.
With the series win, the Mariners move to 10 games back from 1st place and 7 back from the #1 wild card spot. In this, the final month of baseball, the playoff picture is starting to come to light. The big question is, can you see the M’s making it in the playoff picture?