MLB: Mariners seek four-game sweep vs. Astros

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Perhaps Dominic Canzone someday will show his grandchildren the box score of Wednesday’s game, in which he hit a home run off likely first-ballot Hall of Famer Justin Verlander.

But it’s what Canzone did that won’t appear in the box score that helped the Seattle Mariners gain a 2-1 victory in 10 innings against Houston, putting the hosts in position to potentially sweep the four-game series with their American League West rivals on Thursday afternoon.

With pinch runner Jonatan Clase at second base to open the bottom of the 10th, Canzone grounded the first pitch from reliever Tayler Scott to the right side of the infield. Canzone was thrown out easily by second baseman Jose Altuve, but it moved Clase to third.

Walks to Cal Raleigh and Luke Raley ensued before J.P. Crawford lifted a fly ball to the edge of the warning track in right field, bringing home the deciding run.

“Huge,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Canzone’s at-bat. “Talk about things that don’t show up in the box score. … Sometimes you’ve got to take one for the team.”

Canzone said he was prepared for a first-pitch fastball and got one.

“I was really just trying to be on time with the fastball, just trying to pull it,” Canzone said. “If I got the heater, I wanted to be on top of it.”

Another thing Canzone did that didn’t show up in the box score was make a diving catch on a sinking liner by Kyle Tucker with no outs and a runner at first in the eighth inning with the score tied at 1.

“Hearing the crack of the bat was my only reference,” Canzone said of the ball hit right at him. “It was just kind of do-or-die.”

Of course, the score wouldn’t have been tied if not for Canzone’s 411-foot solo homer to right-center with one out in the fifth. That put the Mariners in position for their fourth straight victory overall and their third in a row against the Astros, their longtime nemesis.

“The last three games we’ve just been battling,” Canzone said. “We haven’t been doing everything we should be doing, but we’ve just been scrappy.”

The Astros wasted a strong start by Verlander, who allowed one run on three hits over seven innings and matched his season high with nine strikeouts.

“(The Mariners) have an outstanding rotation, good bullpen. You know these are going to be close games,” Verlander said. “If you think you’re going to come in here and bang out five, six, seven runs a game, I don’t think that’s realistic.”

In the series finale, Astros rookie Spencer Arrighetti (2-5, 6.93 ERA) is scheduled to go against fellow right-hander Logan Gilbert (3-2, 3.06), who has nine quality starts for the Mariners this season.

Arrighetti will face Seattle for the first time. Gilbert is 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 10 career starts against the Astros, including a 5-0 road victory May 4 in a game in which he allowed two hits over eight innings.

–Field Level Media

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