Seattle’s Robinson Cano homered against the Houston Astros again on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, the rest of the lineup managed only four other hits in a 5-1 loss.
Cano, who had two home runs on Saturday night, hit a solo homer in the fourth on Sunday to give him five homers and 17 RBIs in seven games against Houston this season. He leads the American league with 12 homers and his 33 RBIs lead the majors.
Rookie Tyler White hit two doubles and drove in a run to back up seven solid innings by Collin McHugh to help the Astros to the victory.
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“We didn’t have a lot going there offensively,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “McHugh kept us off-balance most of the game, did a good job.”
Cano, who is hitting .467 against Houston this season, shrugged off his success against the Astros.
“Just good games and trying to do my job with men in scoring position,” he said.
Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma (1-4) yielded seven hits and three runs with a season-high eight strikeouts in five innings.
“I thought I had life on my fastball,” he said in Japanese through a translator. “But at the same time they made me work. They got my pitch count up.”
White, who snapped an 0-for-16 skid on Thursday, had two hits for the second straight game. He put Houston up 1-0 with his double in the second and added a double in the fourth. The Astros added two runs in the third and tacked on two more in the seventh.
McHugh (4-3) allowed five hits and one run for his third straight win.
Jose Altuve had two hits and tied a career-high with three stolen bases on a day the Astros finished with five.
Luis Valbuena doubled with two outs in the second and scored on a ground-rule double by White to make it 1-0.
Altuve singled with one out in the third before stealing both second and third base before Carlos Correa drew a walk with two outs. He stole second base before a bunt single by Colby Rasmus scored Altuve to push the lead to 2-0.
“Iwakuma didn’t throw the ball bad at all, just had the crazy inning there with the soft hits and the two-strike, two-out bunt, which have to give Rasmus credit, he executed it,” Servais said. “Tough play, risky play but it worked for him.”
A single by Marwin Gonzalez, who finished with two hits, sent another run home before Valbuena struck out to end the inning.
McHugh had retired nine of his first 11 batters when Cano launched one into the seats in left field to start the fourth and cut the lead to 3-1.
White’s second double came with no outs in the fourth, but he was left stranded when Iwakuma struck out Jake Marisnick and Jason Castro before intentionally walking Altuve and fanning George Springer to end the inning.
Altuve singled to start the seventh, stole second base and reached third on an error by catcher Steve Clevenger. Houston extended its lead to 4-1 when Springer reached on an error by shortstop Ketel Marte that allowed Altuve to score. Springer stole second and scored on a single by Correa to make it 5-1.
Springer had the defensive play of the game when he leaped to grab a ball hit by Leonys Martin at the wall in center field for the first out of the third inning.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (right shoulder soreness) struck out seven in five scoreless innings of his first rehabilitation start for Triple-A Fresno on Saturday night. Manager A.J. Hinch said they will see how he responds over the next couple of days before they decide if he needs another start in the minors or if he can join them on their upcoming road trip, which begins Thursday.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (2-2, 2.21) will make his seventh start this season on Monday against Tampa Bay. Hernandez is coming off his shortest start of the season where he did not factor in the decision after allowing nine hits and eight runs in four innings of a 9-8 win over Oakland.
Astros: Mike Fiers (2-1, 5.35) also looks to bounce back from his shortest start of the season when he pitches in the opener of a three-game series against Cleveland. He allowed nine hits and four runs in a 16-4 win over the Twins, but did not factor in the decision after lasting just 4 2/3 innings.