M's Blank Astros, 9-0
Angels Come In For Last Home Series

Keuchel: Trainer checks head wound
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
After Houston eliminated Seattle from the playoff race on Tuesday, it looked like the wrong team relaxed on Wednesday. The Mariners scored three in the top of the first off Dallas Keuchel while seven pitchers shared a five-hit shutout as the Astros paid homage to their 2013 counterparts in a 9-0 blowout. Oakland seized the opportunity to maul the Angels and shrink Houston's lead in the AL West to four games with ten to play.

Robinson Cano was 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and Guillermo Heredia took Astro pitchers deep. Seager also sent a liner off Keuchel's head in the first but the lefty pitcher shook it off and completed five innings, allowing five runs.

Both managers emptied their expanded benches after awhile. Houston played 20 men while the Mariners would get 21 players into the action.

Houston's final home series of the regular season begins Friday night at 7:10 pm Central. Gerrit Cole (14-5), who will be pitching with some extra rest, takes the mound for the Astros against lefthander Andrew Heaney (9-9). In three starts, Cole is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA against the Halos this year. In four starts, Heaney is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA against Houston. The Astros are 3-3 on the current homestand and a lethargic 43-35 (.551) overall this year at home.

- Bob Hulsey