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Seager hits two HRs in Mariners' walkoff victory over Astros

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The Canadian Press
4/23/2014 7:01:36 PM
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SEATTLE -- With one swing, Kyle Seager hopes he ended his personal skid at the plate and the Seattle Mariners' slide.

"Any time you see the ball hit the ground, it's obviously a big confidence booster," Seager said. "It has felt better the last couple of days and today it showed up. Thankfully."

Seager hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth, his second of the game, and the Mariners rallied for a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday to stop an eight-game losing streak.

With Seattle on the verge of getting swept for the second straight series, Seager hit a two-run homer in the seventh off starter Jarred Cosart. Then he capped the biggest hitting day of his big league career with his drive on the first pitch from closer Josh Fields (0-1) in the ninth.

It was the third multihomer game of Seager's career, and the five RBIs were a career high. Seager had not homered since Sept. 3 of last season at Kansas City.

"He has a track record and I've said all along that he is going to hit," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Obviously, when you're in a losing streak and the guys you expect to hit don't hit, it's a little frustrating but in that case you have one of two options: you can sit him or you can play him. I chose to play him and he didn't disappoint."

Seager had been one of Seattle's few consistent hitters the past two seasons, establishing himself as a lock in the Mariners lineup. That made his struggles to start this season so surprising. Seager entered Wednesday hitting just .156 with two RBIs. He had more strikeouts (17) than hits (10) at the start of the day.

His final three at-bats against the Astros were more like what Seager had shown in the past. He drew a leadoff walk to open the fifth, then homered on a 3-2 pitch from Cosart in the seventh to cut Houston's lead to 3-2.

Seattle already had a rally going in the ninth. Robinson Cano dropped a single in front of an outfield playing deep to open the inning, and Corey Hart's sharp single put two on with no outs.

Fields rallied to strike out Justin Smoak, but Seager went to the plate aggressively looking for a first-pitch fastball.

He got it. And Seattle's had a chance to celebrate for the first time in more than a week.

"Nobody was really stressing," Seager said. "We've been all right. We know what we have here. Obviously nobody wants to lose, but we know what we have here and we haven't been panicking."

Seattle's late rally spoiled what was looking to be a sweep for the Astros.

Cosart took a shutout into the seventh after failing to make it out of the first inning in his previous start. The Astros got a two-run double from Jason Castro in the third inning and Chris Carter's second homer of the series in the seventh to take a 3-0 lead.

Still, Houston's batting average for the season dropped to .199 after managing just six hits. Chris Young struggled with his control early and walked five, three of those coming in the third. But he retired 11 of 12 batters before Carter's homer and lasted seven innings to help save Seattle's taxed bullpen. Young struck out six and threw 113 pitches.

Fernando Rodney (1-1) got the victory, pitching the top of the ninth in relief.

"The most demoralizing loss in baseball is a late inning loss, when you have the game won," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "Since I've been here we've had our share of them."

NOTES: Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) and LHP James Paxton (back) will begin recovery throwing programs within the next week. McClendon said Paxton has been cleared to start throwing Friday and Walker next Monday. ... Carter has hit seven career homers at Safeco Field. ... Seattle won on a walkoff homer for first time since last June 23 vs. Oakland.

Kyle Seager (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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