Julio Rodríguez set a major league record with his 17th hit in four games, Dylan Moore homered twice, Logan Gilbert registered his 14th quality start of the season and the Seattle Mariners defeated the Houston Astros 10-3 for their fifth-straight win Saturday night.
The Mariners, who are 13-3 in their last 16 games, pulled to 1 1/2 games behind the Astros for the second AL wild-card spot and maintained a 1/2 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final AL wild-card spot.
In the fifth inning, following Moore’s first home run, Houston starter Framber Valdez threw a pitch at the feet of Jose Caballero, which hit him in the lower part of his left leg. He hit the ground as he tried to get out of the way. Caballero got up, put his arms out and started walking and talking toward Valdez, who responded. This caused the benches to clear.
Rodriguez was playing peacemaker as he hugged Valdez from behind and walked him away from the grouping at home plate back toward the mound. No punches were thrown and the situation deescalated. Warnings were issued to both the Astros and Mariners dugouts by home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman.
Jose Altuve in the fifth inning became the newest member of the 2,000-hit club. Altuve lined a 2-2 pitch from Gilbert into the left field corner. Altuve was trying to stretch the single into a double and was thrown out.
Altuve is the third player in Houston Astros club history to reach 2,000 career hits. He is the fastest Astro to do it in just his 1,631st game. Altuve finished the night going 3 for 5 at the plate.
Gilbert (11-5) surrendered just two runs on eight hits, struck out three and walked one in six innings. Gilbert is 21-4 when pitching on the road in his career.
Rodriguez, with a single to left field in the seventh inning, broke a major league record set in 1925 by Milt Stock of the Brooklyn Robins. The previous record was 16 hits in four games. Rodriguez finished 4 for 6, giving him his fourth-consecutive four-plus hit game.
In the fifth inning, with Seattle leading 4-2, Moore hit a two-run homer to right field, and then in the ninth inning blasted a solo homer to left field to make it 9-2. Moore finished 2 for 4 with two homers and three RBIs. This is Moore's second multihomer game this season.
Sam Haggerty homered in the ninth with his first of the season making it 10-2. The Mariners clubbed 17 hits against Astros pitching.
Valdez (9-9) gave up six runs on 10 hits, striking out five and walking two in five innings. Valdez has given up 16 runs on 24 hits over his last three starts since throwing a no-hitter on Aug. 1 against the Cleveland Guardians.
The Astros three runs came off solo homers by Alex Bregman, his 20th of the season, Yainer Diaz and Mauricio Dubón.
Astros: OF Kyle Tucker was out of the lineup for a second-straight game after missing Friday’s series opener against the Mariners due to an illness … IF Grae Kessinger was placed on the injured list due to health and safety protocols. OF Corey Julks was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land to take his place on the active roster … OF Michael Brantley made another rehabilitation start with Triple-A Sugar Land on Saturday night.
Houston RHP Hunter Brown (9-8, 4.16 ERA) gets the start Sunday opposite Seattle RHP Emerson Hancock (0-0, 5.40) to close out the three-game series.