Astros Nip Mariners, 3-2; Remain In Tie
Altuve Returns; Valdez Wins Debut

Gurriel: Game-winning hit
(c) Associated Press
The Astros welcomed back a familiar face Tuesday but it was a new face that played a big role in their 3-2 victory in Seattle. Jose Altuve, the reigning MVP, returned from a 21-day stint on the disabled list and went 0-for-3 with a walk. Houston also surprised by calling up lefthander Framber Valdez from AA Corpus Christi who pitched 4-1/3rd innings in relief of starter Brad Peacock.

To make way on the roster, the Astros optioned outfielder Kyle Tucker and reliever Cionel Perez back to the minors.

Carlos Correa, who entered the game 3-for-32 since his own DL return, exploded for three hits, scoring the game-winning run and driving in Houston's first run with a sacrifice fly.

Roberto Osuna did not close as forecasted by manager A.J. Hinch but he got the biggest two outs of the game, striking out Nelson Cruz and Dee Gordon in the eighth after the Mariners closed the gap to 3-2.

Did somebody say "two outs"? The Mariners offset Houston's ten-hit performance by flipping six double plays. Hector Rondon worked the ninth for his 14th save.

The Astros put the first run on the board after a single and two walks loaded the bases. Correa flew out to left deep enough to get Tony Kemp home. In the fourth, Josh Reddick drilled his 13th homer of the year deep into the right field stands to retake the lead at 2-1. Houston added their final run in the sixth when Yuli Gurriel bounced a seeing-eye single through the middle to get home Correa. All the runs came off lefty Ross Detwiler who threw six frames in relief of Nick Vincent after Mike Leake was scratched.

Peacock, in his first start of the year after going 13-2 as mostly a starter last season, lasted only 1-2/3rd innings and gave up three hits. That's when Valdez, a 24-year-old Dominican who has turned heads in a couple of Grapefruit League stints, made his debut. The lefty gave up two hits and a walk and was charged with an unearned run in the third on a passed ball.

The Astros kept their share of the AL West lead as Oakland also won on Tuesday. The Mariners slid back to 4-1/2 games behind the leaders. George Springer sat out his second straight game with a sore quad muscle. The Astros have not had Correa, Altuve and Springer together in a lineup since June 25th.

The series finale comes Wednesday afternoon in a 3:10 p.m. Central duel as Charlie Morton (12-3) goes up against lefty Marco Gonzales (12-8). That is, if you can trust either manager at their word after this series.

- Bob Hulsey