Published January 13, 2015
The Seattle Mariners try to make it two in a row on Tuesday when they resume a three-game series with the Houston Astros at Safeco Field.
Seattle won for only the second time in six tries on Tuesday, as Hisashi Iwakuma struck out eight over seven solid innings and the Mariners eked out a 3-2 win.
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 dropped three of four to the New York Yankees over the weekend.
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."
Getting the call for the M's on Tuesday will be veteran Aaron Harang, who has beaten Houston the last five times he has faced it. However, he hasn't pitched against the Astros in two years and enters this start sporting the highest ERA of his career.
Harang should be well rested after failing to get out of the third inning in a loss on Thursday against the Yankees. Harang was torched for six runs and eight hits in just 2 1/3 innings of that one to fall to 2-6 on the year to go along with a 6.70 ERA.
"He's got to be able to fix it when he's a little off so he can get us deeper in the ballgame and give us a chance," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Harang has faced the Astros 28 times (26 starts) and is 13-9 against them with a 4.36 ERA.
Houston, meanwhile, will counter with righty Bud Norris, who is 5-5 with a 3.43 ERA. Norris lost to Baltimore on Thursday, despite a solid effort that saw him surrender three runs in seven innings. He also struck out seven and walked a batter in the setback.
Norris beat the Mariners earlier in the year in his only other appearance against them.
Houston has won four of seven from Seattle this season.