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(TSX / STATS) SEATTLE Alex Bregman’s two run double ignited a four run rally in the seventh inning, and Dallas Keuchel pitched 7 2/3 solid innings as the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners 6 2 on Monday night.
Josh Reddick added a two run single in the decisive outburst as the Astros broke open a tie game.
The four run lead was more than enough for Keuchel, who looked increasingly through the innings like his former Cy Young Award self after coming back from a nagging neck injury.
With the victory, Houston (84 53) stayed 13 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West race. The Astros won their fifth straight.
Seattle (69 69) saw a three game winning streak snapped, and the loss dropped the Mariners three games back in the chase for the AL wild card with the Minnesota Twins still in action on Monday night.
Keuchel (12 3) allowed seven hits and two runs. He struck five and walked two. His 108 pitches were the most he had thrown in an outing since coming off the disabled list on July 28.
Mariners lefty reliever Mark Rzepczynski (2 1) immediately got into trouble after starting the seventh in a 2 2 game. He surrendered a leadoff single to Marwin Gonzalez, then firing a wild pitch that pushed the runner to second. His wildness continued with a walk to Brian McCann.
Rzepczynski was replaced by Nick Vincent, and Cameron Maybin sacrificed the runners to second and third. After an intentional walk to George Springer,
Bregman doubled to right, scoring two.
Reddick added his two run single later in the inning.
The Mariners’ Kyle Seager had tied the game 2 2 in the sixth with a solo blast to center, his 20th of the season.
Mariners right hander Erasmo Ramirez did his best to upstage Keuchel early with a strong six inning start. Ramirez allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He also surrendered solo home runs to Yuri Gurriel and McCann, both in the fifth inning.
Seattle opened the scoring in the first on a two out RBI single by Seager, coming after a leadoff single by Jean Segura and a two out single by Nelson Cruz.
NOTES: Houston RHP Mike Fiers was informed Monday he would be removed from the rotation after he went 1 4 with a 7.66 ERA in six starts in August. Hinch said Fiers would be available to pitch out of the bullpen, likely starting Friday in Oakland. . Astros C Max Stassi was activated from the 10 day disabled list after recovering from left hand inflammation. . Astros RHP Michael Feliz (shoulder) and C Evan Gattis (left hand) began rehab assignments with Class A Quad Cities. . Seattle RHP David Phelps (right elbow impingement) was shifted from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL, ending his season. . Mariners OF Jarrod Dyson (right groin strain) was given the day off. . The Mariners claimed OF Jacob Hannemann and RHP Seth Frankoff on waivers from the Chicago Cubs. LHP Zac Curtis was designated for assignment. . Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez had a bullpen session Monday as he recuperates from a shoulder injury. LHP James Paxton (pec) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Tuesday.