Robinson Cano forgot how many outs there were and failed to turn a double play to end the seventh inning. It was the type of play that could have left the door open for the Astros to get back into Tuesday night’s game.
Instead, Mariners starter Nathan Karns bailed out his teammate with a strikeout to end the inning. Naturally, Cano returned the favor by closing the door on Houston with a grand slam in the bottom of the inning.
Cano’s slam capped a six RBI night as Seattle crushed Houston, 11-1.
“I got to pay him back,” Cano said with a smile when asked about his grand slam.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
It was Cano’s 10th-career grand slam and first since 2012. The bases-clearing homer also gave him six RBIs for the third time in his career. The slam was big, but his two-run single in the fifth was the one that put him at 1,000 RBIs in his career.
He is the fifth fastest second baseman to reach the milestone.
“Those are the memories that you can share with your kids,” Cano said.
The two-run single by Cano came in a four-run fifth that gave Seattle a nice cushion. Ketel Marte started the rally with a bases-loaded single to make it 2-0 and Cano followed with his two-run hit. Marte scored on the play after Cano got caught in a rundown between first and second to make it 5-0.
Karns (2-1) tossed one of his best starts in his career, tying a personal high with seven innings. He allowed two hits and struck out six while walking three.
“The key to the game tonight was really Nate Karns,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He established it from the get-go, he was going to be in control. When you see that confidence come from your starting pitcher and really good tempo, it really dictates the rest of the game.”
Dallas Keuchel (2-3) pitched six innings of six-hit ball in the defeat. The left-hander allowed five runs while striking out five and walking two.
“All in all, it ended up being an ugly game, but it wasn’t an ugly start for Dallas,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “I was happy with what he did and obviously the (fifth) inning got away from him.”
The Astros scored a run in the eighth off reliever Tony Zych, but the Mariners answered with two runs off catcher Erik Kratz, who took the mound in the bottom of the inning.
Astros: Starter Lance McCullers will pitch in an extended Spring Training game on Wednesday. McCullers is recovering from a sore shoulder.
Chris Devenski will make his first major league start Saturday against Oakland, taking Scott Feldman’s spot in the rotation. Hinch said the rookie right-hander may not permanently be in the rotation, but he wanted to give him a chance. Feldman, who is 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA in four starts, will be available to pitch out of the bullpen.
MARTE EXTENDS STREAK
Marte had his second three-hit night of the season to extend his hitting streak to six games. He is hitting .400 with six runs (three on Tuesday), three doubles and two RBI during that time.
ASTROS TRENDING DOWN
Houston has lost its last three series after Seattle clinched this three-game set. The Astros have only won one of seven series to open the season, which came in Houston.
Astros: Collin McHugh (1-3) looks to turn in a good outing after a pair of disappointing starts as the Astros attempt to avoid a three-game sweep to the Mariners on Wednesday. The right-hander has allowed 10 hits in each of the last two outings and a combined nine runs.
Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma (0-2) will attempt to win his first game of the season as the Mariners try to earn a sweep of the Astros on Wednesday.