The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Astros can't solve Felix Hernandez in Seattle's 6-1 win over Houston

  • Print

SEATTLE - For the second time in three days, Houston could not solve the ace of a pitching staff.

First it was the Angels' Jered Weaver. On Friday night, it was Seattle's ace Felix Hernandez.

"This is the big leagues. If you want to play here and you want to compete here, those are the guys that are here," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "They aren't going to say, 'we're not going to throw those guys against you.'"

Hernandez struck out nine over eight strong innings for his third straight victory, and the Astros' offensive slide continued in a 6-1 loss to the Mariners. Houston has scored three runs in its past three games and provided little help to Rudy Owens, who pitched adequately in his major league debut.

"We just couldn't muster anything offensively against Felix and that was pretty much the difference in the ball game," Porter said.

Owens was called up last minute from Triple-A Oklahoma City to get the starter after Brad Peacock was skipped due to soreness in his forearm. Despite the late notice, Owens' family was able to make the trip up from Phoenix to see him make his debut.

"I knew it was going to come. I put in all the hard work. I guess I needed to get a lucky break," Owens said. "It's been a long time coming. It's been a frustrating road to say the least but I'm happy the way things worked out."

After struggling through the first inning, Owens settled down. He kept Houston within 3-1 heading into the sixth despite allowing a baserunner in every inning.

The game got away from Owens (0-1) in just a couple of pitches. After giving up a double to Mike Zunino, Owens watched Willie Bloomquist hit the first pitch out for a two-run homer and a 5-1 Seattle lead. He got James Jones, but was lifted after giving up a two-out walk to Stefan Romero.

Owens allowed nine hits and five runs in his debut. His reward? A trip back to Oklahoma City. Owens was optioned back to Triple-A after the game and Brett Oberholtzer was recalled to make the start on Saturday.

"I will definitely work on my curveball. I was pitching without that today and it's hard to miss bats," Owens said. "My curveball wasn't there for me. I've got to get back on the hill and work on it."

The one batter Hernandez could not solve was Jose Altuve, who improved to 8-for-16 all-time against Seattle's ace. Altuve had an RBI single in the third, doubled in the fifth and lined a single off Hernandez's left calf in the eighth. Hernandez stayed in and started an inning-ending double play from Dexter Fowler to finish off the eighth.

It was the second straight start Hernandez pitched eight innings.

"Felix was pretty darn good tonight in a lot of different ways," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Certainly with his pitch count he was very efficient and he fielded the ball with his glove and his leg."

Bloomquist drove in three runs, but the highlight was his first long ball since Aug. 10, 2011, when he was playing for Arizona, a span of 626 at-bats. Bloomquist's homer came on the first pitch after Zunino had doubled off the top of the wall, missing a homer by inches.

Bloomquist rounded the bases with a wry smile on his face and appeared to be catching plenty of grief in the dugout for the long lapse between homers. His last homer also came against Houston — when the Astros were still a National League team — and led off the bottom of the first inning.

"I know it's been a while," Bloomquist said. "That's not my swing, but I'll take them when they come if they ever come."

NOTES: Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) threw a three-inning simulated game Friday and said he feels ready to go out on a rehab assignment. Walker has not pitched in a game this season. ... Houston OF George Springer was held out of the lineup for second straight day after injuring his hip on Wednesday. ... Jones' hitting streak extended to 13 games with infield single in the fourth.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Drew Willy says team couldn't get anything going

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos


Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google