A two-run single in the sixth by Yulieski Gurriel was the difference Saturday night as the Astros squeaked past Seattle, 2-1, to squeeze closer in the Wild Card race. Mike Fiers tossed six innings of three-hit shutout ball. Ken Giles later breezed through a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts for his 11th save.
White: Beats tag for game-winner.
(c) Associated Press
Baltimore and Toronto both lost so the Astros are now just three games behind both for the two wild card slots. But Houston has company. Seattle and Detroit have 78-70 records just like the Astros, three games in arrears. The Yankees also lurk four games out.
Fiers and Seattle's James Paxton pitched a scoreless tie through the first five frames but, in the sixth, Teoscar Hernandez singled and Tyler White followed with a double to left. After Jake Marisnick and George Springer failed to get a run home, Gurriel spanked a base hit through the hole between short and third, chasing home both runners as White barely beat the throw home.
After Chris Devenski worked out of trouble in the seventh, Norichika Aoki stroked an infield hit with one away in the eighth. Luke Gregerson then gave up a double to Seth Smith which pulled the Mariners within one. Gregerson then retired Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz to end the threat.
Doug Fister (12-11) will try to give the Astros a sweep Sunday afternoon against lefty Ariel Miranda (4-1) in a 3:10 Central finale at Safeco Field. Houston has now won the season series, 10-5, with four games to go.
- Bob Hulsey