Sports Minute: Bregman's 100th homer helps Astros past Mariners 8-5
By KRISTIE RIEKENAP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman hit his 100th career homer, a three-run shot, and Jose Altuve added a solo drive to give the Houston Astros an 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
The Astros trailed by two in the third inning before Bregman’s first home run of the season put them ahead 4-3. Altuve, who had two RBIs, connected in the fifth for the first of three runs to pad the lead and help the Astros take three of four in the series from their AL West foes.
Josh James was not sharp in his return to the rotation after spending last season in the bullpen. He allowed three runs and needed 75 pitches to get through three innings. But then Brandon Bielak (1-0) ate up the next 3 1/3 innings to win his major league debut and save Houston's bullpen. He permitted four hits and two runs — one earned — while striking out four.
Roberto Osuna worked a scoreless ninth for his first save.
Mariners starter Kendall Graveman (0-1) yielded six hits, seven runs and struck out seven in four-plus innings in his first game in 807 days after recovering from Tommy John surgery,
The Mariners were up by one with two outs in the third when Evan White knocked an off-speed pitch from James to left field for a two-run homer to extend the lead to 3-0.
Graveman looked sharp early and struck out the side in the first. He gave up a pair of singles in the second but got out of the jam with a double play.
Kyle Tucker reached on an error by third baseman Kyle Seager to start the Houston third before Graveman walked Dustin Garneau. The Astros cut the lead on Altuve's RBI double with one out. Bregman then launched a ball off a sign in left field to put Houston on top 4-3.
The Astros made it 5-3 with two outs in the fourth when Garneau drove home a run with his first career triple on a soaring ball hit to left field.
Altuve opened the fifth with his first homer of the season before Graveman walked Bregman, ending his night.
Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick each hit an RBI double later in the inning to extend the lead to 8-3.
Mariners: Relief pitcher Brandon Brennan was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained left oblique. Left-hander Taylor Guilbeau was recalled to take his roster spot.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander went on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Saturday, with a strained right forearm. The Astros announced that the 2019 AL Cy Young Award winner would not throw for at least two weeks and would be evaluated after that. ... Houston optioned INF Taylor Jones, recalled right-hander Nivaldo Rodriguez and selected Bielak to the major league roster.
Mariners: Seattle left-hander Justus Sheffield opposes Patrick Sandoval when the Mariners open a three-game series against the Angels on Tuesday night. The 24-year-old Sheffield appeared in eight games with seven starts and had a 5.50 ERA last season.
Astros: Houston will face the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for the first time since a Major League Baseball investigation determined the Astros stole signs illegally during their run to a championship in 2017, when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series. During spring training, several Dodgers had plenty of harsh things to say about the Astros. Houston’s Framber Valdez will oppose right-hander Walker Buehler in the opener of the two-game series.
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