Sports

Mariners pound Astros, put pressure in wild card standings

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager hit three-run homers during a seven-run fourth inning, sending the Seattle Mariners to a 10-5 victory over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series.

Dustin Ackley added a pair of home runs for the Mariners, who sit a half-game behind Oakland and Kansas City in the AL wild card standings. Taijuan Walker (2-2) gave up two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.

Jonathan Villar and Dexter Fowler each knocked in two runs for the Astros, who have lost four in a row. Jose Altuve went 3-for-3 with a run scored to extend his Major League lead to 216 hits. In doing so he tied Magglio Ordonez (2007) for the most hits in a season by a Venezuelan-born player.

Altuve also set a franchise record with his 24th three-hit game of the season, passing Craig Biggio (23 in 1998).

Brad Peacock (4-9) allowed seven runs -- two earned -- on six hits with four walks over 3 1/3 innings. He pitched for the first time since Sept.8 due to soreness in his lower back.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first. Altuve doubled and scored on Fowler's two-out single to left.

Ackley tied things up in the third with the first of his two homers.

The Mariners exploded for seven runs in the fourth. A throwing error by Villar and a fielding error by Chris Carter started the inning. Zunino followed with a blast to left-center field. Austin Jackson and Ackley walked prior to Robinson Cano's RBI single. Jake Buchanan came in from the bullpen and gave up a three-run homer to Seager.

Fowler and Villar hit RBI singles in the fifth and sixth to cut the gap to 8-3.

Ackley led off the eighth with his second homer of the game, but the Astros responded with two runs in the bottom half.

James Jones scored on a passed ball in the ninth to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

The Mariners improved to 10-7 against the Astros this season ... Walker made his first start since July 23 ... Houston went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.