Veteran Doug Fister appears to have worn down over the final month of the season. While his discounted deal to come to Houston last winter remains a good move, he doesn't seem to be helping anyone at this stage.
Astros bats remain mostly silent
(c) Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Except the Mariners, that is. They pounced on Fister for seven runs on Sunday and salvaged one game from a three-game series with Houston, 7-3, snapping the Astros' three-game winning streak and reclaiming second place in the AL West.
With Baltimore winning, the Astros fell to four games behind for the first wild card spot but with Toronto losing, they remained three games back for the final wild card spot. Detroit and Seattle moved to two games behind Toronto.
Angel Miranda read the Astros their rights before arresting them on three hits over seven innings. He fanned eight and gave up solo homers to George Springer (his 28th) and Carlos Correa (his 20th).
Meanwhile, Seth Smith belted two home runs (his 15th and 16th) and drove in four all on his own. He and his teammates pelted Fister for eight hits and two walks before Fister left in the fourth inning. A quintet of relievers mopped up without allowing any further runs.
The Astros now fly south to Oakland for their last three-game set with the Athletics. Houston has a 10-6 record this season against the A's but their margin for error in the final weeks is slim. A.J. Hinch is choosing to start righthander Brad Peacock (0-0) in the 9:05 Central opener at Yoko Ono Coliseum. Righty Jharel Cotton (1-0), another September call-up, will pitch for Oakland.
- Bob Hulsey