Seattle, WA – Aaron Harang struck out 10 and spun a two-hit shutout Tuesday, as the Seattle Mariners blanked the Houston Astros, 4-0, in the second test of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
Harang (3-6) didn't walk a batter to record his second shutout of the season and eighth of his career.
"He was fantastic," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said of Harang. "When he commands his fastball and it rides like it did tonight, he's real good. He felt good about going back out there (in the ninth) so we wanted to give him that opportunity."
Raul Ibanez smacked a solo home run for the second straight night, while Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager each added an RBI in the Mariners' second consecutive victory.
Bud Norris (5-6) struck out six, but was tagged for three runs on five hits over seven innings to absorb the loss. J.D. Martinez registered both hits for the Astros, who have lost six straight games.
"He attacked the zone," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Harang. "I don't think it wasn't anything we were not prepared for; it just seemed like he missed barrels and changed speeds when he needed to."
Seattle jumped on top in its first at-bat, as Endy Chavez stroked a leadoff double and moved to third when shortstop Ronny Cedeno missed the relay throw from right fielder Trevor Crowe.
Norris bounced back by retiring the next two hitters, but uncorked a wild pitch with Ibanez at the plate that allowed Chavez to score for a 1-0 lead.
The Mariners tacked on another run in the second when Nick Franklin laced a leadoff double and moved to third on Crowe's throwing error before crossing the plate on Saunders' sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Ibanez belted a one-out shot over the wall in left-center in the sixth for a 3-0 lead before Seager smacked an RBI single in the eighth to score Chavez, who led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout.
Harang, meanwhile, worked around Martinez's leadoff single in the eighth and retired the final six hitters he faced in order to secure the victory.
Harang has won six straight outings against Houston and improved to 14-9 in 27 career starts against the Astros ... Ibanez's homer was his 13th of the season ... Houston fell to 2-25 when it fails to hit a home run ... Seattle recalled catcher Mike Zunino, the third overall pick in last year's MLB Draft, from Triple-A Tacoma prior to the game and designated catcher Brandon Bantz for assignment.