HOUSTON (AP) — Joe Saunders pitched neatly into the sixth inning for his first win in a month, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Houston Astros 3-1 on Saturday night for their third consecutive victory.
Kendrys Morales, Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley each drove in a run for the Mariners, who had lost six in a row before the series against the major league-worst Astros. They will have Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound when they go for a series sweep.
Saunders (11-13) yielded an unearned run and six hits over 5 1-3 innings in his first win since Aug. 4 at Baltimore. The left-hander was 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in his previous four starts.
Matt Dominguez and Brandon Barnes had two hits apiece for Houston (44-91), which appears to be headed for its third straight 100-loss season.
Dallas Keuchel (5-8) got off to a rough start, and the Astros were never able to recover.
Seattle jumped on Keuchel for three runs in the first inning. Morales had a run-scoring infield hit before Keuchel issued consecutive walks to Raul Ibanez and Franklin to force home another run. Ackley then made it 3-0 with a grounder that brought home Morales.
Kyle Seager also had two hits for the Mariners (62-73), who closed out August with a 12-16 record.
Keuchel put together a nice outing after the rocky first, striking out eight in seven innings. He allowed four hits and walked two.
After Saunders departed, Carter Capps and Yoervis Medina each pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings before Danny Farquhar finished for his 11th save.