Astros hit 5 HRs, stop Mariners from moving up

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Chris Young adjusts his cap after giving up a two-run home run to Houston Astros' Alex Presley during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Houston. The Astros scored four on two two-run home ru
David J. Phillip

HOUSTON (AP) Seattle starter Chris Young was at a loss for words to explain Saturday night's debacle at the hands of the Houston Astros.

One thing was clear to him, however.

''This team needs better from me,'' Young said.

Young got hit hard and often in an uncharacteristically poor outing, and the Mariners missed a chance to move up in the AL playoff race, tagged for five home runs Saturday night in a 10-1 loss to the Astros.

The Mariners stayed one game behind AL wild-card leader Oakland and a half-game in back of Kansas City for the second slot. The A's and Royals both lost earlier in the day.

''I didn't pitch as well as I'm capable of,'' Young said. ''I'm disappointed. Just felt good going in, don't know what happened. Just didn't make good pitches.''

Chris Carter and Alex Presley hit two-run homers and Matt Dominguez and Carlos Corporan added back-to-back solo shots. Jake Marisnick had a three-run homer in the seventh inning as the Astros snapped a four-game skid.

''They swung the bat well,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''They pretty much decided it real early.''

The Mariners loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth but managed to come out empty-handed, with Austin Jackson grounding into a double play to end the inning.

''We pretty much had one shot and couldn't capitalize with it,'' McClendon said.

Young (12-9) gave up seven runs and eight hits in three-plus innings. He also threw two wild pitches.

''For the most part I feel like I've given the team a chance,'' Young said. ''A couple of starts this month I haven't, but I'll bounce back.''

Dallas Keuchel (12-9) pitched eight strong innings, striking out eighth. He also reached 200 innings in a season for the first time in his career.

Carter and Presley homered one batter apart in the first inning. Dominguez and Corporan connected off Young on consecutive pitches in the fourth.

It was Carter's 37th home run of the season, a career high. Nelson Cruz leads the majors with 39.

Dexter Fowler doubled and scored two runs for the Astros. Houston tied a season high for homers previously achieved April 6 against the Angels.

Jose Altuve got two hits, giving 218 this season. He tied Rod Carew for most by a second baseman since 1937. Carew reached the feat in 1974 with Minnesota. Charlie Gehringer had 227 with Detroit in 1936.

Robinson Cano hit an RBI single for Seattle run in the third.

Marisnick homered off Erasmo Ramirez, who pitched four innings in relief.

The best thing for Young and the Mariners to do is put this game behind them, third baseman Kyle Seager said.

''You are at this point of the year, you are in single-digit games left, and we obviously know where we stand,'' Seager said. ''Every game is magnified right now.''

EYES ON THE RACE

With his team in a tight race for an AL wild-card berth, McClendon delayed his pregame media availability so he could watch the end of Detroit's 3-2 win over Kansas City.

''It's like I tell the players -- it's not often that you get the opportunity to be in these positions,'' McClendon said. ''Cherish them and enjoy the journey, and this is part of it.''

HE'S A HIT

The Astros honored Altuve prior to the game for breaking the club's record for hits in a season. Craig Biggio, who had held the club record of 210 since 1998, took part in the ceremony at Minute Maid Park, which included Altuve being presented with a giant coupon good for 211 bottles of Minute Maid orange juice.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: OF Dustin Ackley, who hit two homers in Friday's 10-5 win, sat out the game because of a bad left ankle. McClendon said he would play Sunday.

Astros: RHP Josh Fields remains day-to-day with what interim manager Tom Lawless described as a strain. LHP Darin Downs, who felt discomfort in his right oblique in Friday's game, is also day to day.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (14-8, 3.42 ERA), who is 6-3 over his last 10 starts, faces rookie RHP Collin McHugh (10-9, 2.66). McHugh has won his last six decisions and has allowed two runs or fewer in nine straight starts, the longest active streak in the majors.

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