M’s bats fail in loss to Astros

Mariner Austin Jackson is forced at second base as Houston Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar turns the double play to get Seattle’s Endy Chavez out at first in the fourth.

SEATTLE — First came the hope of a comeback. Then came the disappointment of letting the moment slip away.

Logan Morrison tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run, but reliever Yoervis Medina couldn’t hold the line and gave the lead right back to the Astros in the top of the ninth inning.

And this time the Mariners couldn’t rally, losing to the Astros 2-1 on Tuesday in front of a crowd of 11,345.

The loss kept the Mariners from moving into the second wild-card spot in the American League. Instead, the Mariners are a half-game behind the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, who are tied for first place in the American League Central.

Medina walked a batter, allowed the runner to advance to second on a wild pitch, allowed another runner to reach on an infield single and then, finally, gave up the lead with an RBI single with two outs.

It came immediately after Morrison provided late-game drama.

The Mariners had nothing going. They managed just one hit in seven innings. They had managed only two base runners in that time.

They had given the impression that it was just going to be one of those nights.

And then Morrison came to bat. Morrison blasted a solo home run to right field that tied the score at one and gave the Mariners new life. It just so happened to be Morrison’s first home run in more than a month.

The Mariners finished with two hits and had only three base runners.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Jon Singleton doubled off the top of the wall. Right fielder Michael Saunders had trouble cleanly picking up the ball on the ground in right field, and Robinson Cano’s relay throw nearly got the Astros’ runner at the plate.

Elias worked with runners on base for most of his night. He allowed runners to reach second in four of six innings, but only gave up the fourth-inning run. Other than that, he escaped harm.

Elias got some help from his defense. With a runner on first with one out, center fielder Austin Jackson tracked a ball to the warning track in left-center field that looked like a double and RBI off the bat of Jose Altuve. Instead, it was an out and the Astros didn’t score in the inning.

Elias also avoided giving up a run in the sixth inning. With two runners on and two outs, Singleton hit a grounder to first baseman Logan Morrison. Morrison fielded the ball and flipped to Elias, who was charging to first. Singleton was called safe, and a run scored.

But the play was overturned, ending the inning and keeping the game at 1-0.

Elias exited after six innings. He gave up six hits, two walks and had four strikeouts while throwing an efficient 83 pitches.

Collin McHugh, the Astros’ starter, is not a very familiar name for casual fans, but he entered the night with a 2.89 ERA and a streak of seven consecutive starts with two earned runs or fewer.

And he looked that good against the Mariners.

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