Seattle, WA – Hisashi Iwakuma struck out eight over seven stellar innings and the Seattle Mariners edged the Houston Astros, 3-2, Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
Iwakuma (7-1) allowed just an unearned run on four hits and a walk before Carter Capps and Charlie Furbush combined to blank the Astros in the eighth.
Tom Wilhelmsen nailed down his 16th save despite giving up a run in the ninth.
Raul Ibanez stroked a solo home run and Michael Morse added an RBI double for the Mariners, who had lost four of their last five coming into the contest.
Dallas Keuchel (3-3) pitched admirably in defeat, giving up two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits with six strikeouts over six solid innings.
Jose Altuve and Carlos Corporan each drove in a run for the Astros, who have lost five straight games.
"Our starting pitching has been outstanding," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "Even throughout this stretch in which we've lost some ball games, it's definitely not to the fault of our starting pitching."
Altuve's sacrifice fly in the third got the Astros on the board, but Ibanez answered with a one-out blast to right in the fourth to knot the game.
Seattle then jumped in front in the fifth, as Carlos Triunfel led off with a single and moved to second on Jason Bay's groundout.
Kyle Seager then grounded one back to the mound and Keuchel caught Triunfel in a rundown between second and third. Triunfel was eventually tagged out at third, but the rundown allowed Seager to make his way to second.
Kendrys Morales followed with a high chopper to third that Matt Dominguez corralled, but his throw to first was low, allowing Seager to race home for a 2-1 lead.
The Mariners added an insurance run in the seventh, as Bay worked a leadoff walk and moved to third when Dominguez's relay throw to second in an attempt to start a double play on Morales' grounder tipped off the glove of Altuve at second and trickled into the outfield grass.
"He did a great job of staying in it to get Seager to get to second," Seattle Eric Wedge said of Triunfel. "It ended up being a big play for us."
The misplay would prove costly, as Morse followed with a double into the gap in left-center to score Bay for a 3-1 lead.
Wilhelmsen allowed a leadoff single to J.D. Martinez to start the ninth, but bounced back by retiring the next two Astros.
After Martinez moved to second on a defensive indifference, Corporan smacked a pinch-hit single to left to score Martinez and bring Houston within 3-2.
Wilhelmsen, though, got Dominguez to pop out to end the contest.
Altuve extended his hit streak to 11 games ... Iwakuma's only loss of the season came against the Astros on April 23 ... Seattle went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base ... Seager went 0- for-5 to snap his 13-game hit streak.