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George Springer's single in 11th inning lifts Astros to 5-4 win over Mariners

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HOUSTON - George Springer had a tough time for most of Friday night.

That didn't shake his confidence, though, and when he got another shot late with the game on the line, the touted rookie came through for Houston.

Springer singled home the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Astros a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Springer, called up from Triple-A on April 16, had an infield hit toward third after beginning the night 0 for 5 with four strikeouts in a game started by Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.

"It was obviously a sense of relief, I want to say," Springer said. "You obviously want to be big in that spot. I was able to slow down, and I was happy. I'll take it."

Astros manager Bo Porter hopes that the win in the team's last at-bat will help Springer take off at the plate.

"When you watch George, and even through his struggles tonight, there was never a doubt in his mind," Porter said. "He continues to battle and ends up being the guy at the plate with the bases loaded ... and ends up coming up with the big hit."

Jose Altuve singled off Charlie Furbush (0-3) to open the 11th and Dexter Fowler reached on a bunt single. A sacrifice bunt by Carlos Corporan came next, and Altuve beat the throw to third to load the bases for Springer.

"That type of execution that puts you in position to win the ballgame," Porter said. "From a fundamental standpoint, everybody did their job."

Anthony Bass (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Marc Krauss had two hits and drove in two runs for Houston.

Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer and Kyle Seager added a pair of RBIs for Seattle, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Houston had trouble taking advantage of chances throughout the game and was 3 for 17 with runners in scoring position.

Robinson Cano was initially ruled safe on a grounder with two outs in the 10th, but the play was challenged and overturned on replay to end the inning.

The Astros tied it at 4 in the eighth when Alex Presley scored on a chopper by Jonathan Villar.

Hernandez allowed five hits and three runs — two earned — with six strikeouts in five innings while battling flu-like symptoms.

"I didn't know what we were going to get out of him," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He was drained. He was sick yesterday. Very weak today. He did a great job for us and kept us in the ballgame."

Hernandez said it was really tough to pitch with the way he was feeling.

"I still feel bad," he said. "I still have to go out there and do my job."

Houston starter Brad Peacock gave up six hits and four runs in six innings. He struck out six and walked three.

Michael Saunders started the sixth with a bunt single and Cano drew a one-out walk before Corey Hart singled to load the bases. Seager's two-run double gave Seattle a 4-3 lead.

Springer had a chance to catch the ball in right field, but it bounced off his glove as he crashed into the fence near the bullpen. He was splayed on the ground as Fowler came over to retrieve the ball.

Seager singled with none out in the fifth before Zunino connected on his homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field to tie it at 2 with two outs.

Hernandez plunked Jason Castro in the fifth before Krauss' RBI single, on a ball that bounced right in front of the wall in right field, put Houston back on top 3-2. Krauss was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Altuve had a bunt single to start the third before an infield single by Fowler. The Astros went up 1-0 when Castro reached on an error by centre fielder Abraham Almonte.

Krauss' RBI single sent Fowler home to push the lead to 2-0.

NOTES: Seattle RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (finger) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his season debut against left-hander Dallas Keuchel when the series continues Saturday. McClendon said Iwakuma will likely by limited to about 100 pitches. ... McClendon said he expects RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) and LHP James Paxton (back) to start throwing bullpens sometime in the next week. ... Houston signed left-handed reliever Tony Sipp. The Astros also optioned RHP Paul Clemens to Triple-A and transferred RHP Jesse Crain to the 60-day disabled list.

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