Seattle Mariners’ Ty France (left) reacts with Julio Rodriguez after France hit a three-run home run to score Rodriguez and Adam Frazier during the fourth inning of a game against the Houston Astros on Sunday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seattle Mariners’ Ty France (left) reacts with Julio Rodriguez after France hit a three-run home run to score Rodriguez and Adam Frazier during the fourth inning of a game against the Houston Astros on Sunday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

France, Brash power Mariners to rare series victory over Astros

Seattle’s first baseman hit a three-run homer to help rookie starter Matt Brash earn his first MLB win.

  • By CHRIS TALBOTT Associated Press
  • Sunday, April 17, 2022 5:57pm
  • SportsMariners

By Chris Talbott / Associated Press

SEATTLE — Ty France hit a three-run homer, rookie starter Matt Brash took an odd no-hitter into the sixth inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Houston Astros 7-2 on Sunday for a rare series victory against their AL West rivals.

The Mariners won their third game in four days with the help of four double plays in the first four innings as they built a 6-0 lead behind Brash (1-1), who got his first career win.

The 23-year-old right-hander walked batters to lead off each of the first three innings and hit another. But the Mariners backed him with strong defense, including a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play in the first, and 6-4-3 turns started by J.P. Crawford in each of the next three.

“It’s one of the best feelings ever because you get a free out, especially in those situations with leadoff walks,” Brash said.

Asked if that was the most double plays he’d started in a game, Crawford said: “I can’t even tell you, boss. I don’t know. But I feel like today was a lot.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais and Astros manager Dusty Baker called Brash “effectively wild” due to his velocity in the 100 mph range and his movement.

“He had more balls than strikes for a while,” Baker said. “The double-play pitches that he was throwing, he got eight outs in four pitches.”

Brash, a fourth-round pick acquired via trade from the San Diego Padres, began the sixth with a strikeout of Chas McCormick. But Jose Altuve broke up the no-hit bid with a line-drive single and Michael Brantley followed with a two-run homer, his first of the season.

Brash’s day ended when he followed with a walk of Alex Bregman, his sixth of the game. He finished with five strikeouts and two hits in 5.1 innings.

“That’s a heck of a way to get your first win,” Servais said. “Certainly we saw what Matt Brash brings to the table for us. Just an electric arm.”

The Mariners broke open a 1-0 game in the fourth inning against José Urquidy (1-1) with a pair of lucky one-out bounces. Luis Torrens sent a single off Bregman’s glove at third base and Jarred Kelenic hit one off Yuli Gurriel’s glove at first. It rolled right to second baseman Altuve, whose throw was late.

After a popup, rookie Julio Rodríguez picked up his first career RBI with a single, scoring Torrens. Adam Frazier followed with an RBI single.

France then hit a three-run homer, just a few hours after Baker predicted the Mariners’ first baseman was about to begin a hot streak. France’s second homer of the season made it 6-0.

“Those balls were hit hard and then sort of the sky fell out,” Baker said.

That ended the outing for Urquidy, who pitched four innings, allowing eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk.

Abraham Toro and Kelenic hit back-to-back doubles in the seventh for a 7-2 lead. Kelenic had two doubles.

Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider, Andrés Muñoz and Diego Castillo combined for 3.2 innings of two-hit relief. Seattle pitchers finished with 10 strikeouts, fanning all nine Houston batters at least once.

“We’ve got guys that can strike people out,” Servais said. “We did that last year. Our bullpen struck them out last year. We didn’t have so much of that in our starting rotation and that’s changed with … Robbie Ray, hopefully Logan Gilbert for a whole year and what Matt Brash brings. Those guys can wipe you out. Their stuff is so good.”

Not so fast

Baker said he didn’t notice much difference when Justin Verlander and Martín Maldonado used PitchCom technology to communicate during Saturday’s game, though he had one complaint. The device, which transmits a signal from a wristband on the catcher’s arm to an earpiece worn by the pitcher, doesn’t give him enough time to evaluate baserunners.

“One thing that I did notice is that when I’m calling for a throw over, step off and stuff like that, that they get the sign so quickly that I kind of wish it wasn’t as quick because then that gives me time to see if a guy has a different lead or has shortened up his lead or, you know, is giving away signs that they’re going steal,” Baker said. “So that’s probably still a work in progress there.”

New pitcher

Seattle assigned RHP Riley O’Brien to Triple-A Tacoma after acquiring him in a trade with Cincinnati on Saturday, manager Scott Servais said. O’Brien, a 2013 Shorewood High School grad who later played at Everett Community College, was acquired from Cincinnati for a player to be named or cash. He made one start for the Reds last season.

Trainer’s room

Astros: 1B Taylor Jones’ back injury is not getting better as quickly as expected, Baker said. Jones went back to Houston early for re-evaluation by team doctors. He went on the 10-day injured list on April 7. … DH Yordan Alvarez (non-COVID illness) was scheduled to run Sunday for the first time since falling ill mid-week.

Mariners: Servais had no update on RF Mitch Haniger, who went on the COVID-19 IL on Saturday. Haniger will be out at least five days.

Up next

Astros: RHP Luis Garcia (0-0, 0.00) makes his second start as Houston plays its home opener Monday against the Los Angeles Angels.

Mariners: LHP Robbie Ray (1-1, 4.73) makes his third start on Tuesday against Texas. It will be the AL Cy Young Award winner’s home debut.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Tyler Cronk performs in the slam dunk competition during the Everett 3on3 tournament in downtown Everett, Washington on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Recap, videos and photos: 2024 Everett 3on3 was another slam dunk

Everett alumni place second; skills contests, food trucks and vendors were also in full swing this past weekend to celebrate the basketball tournament’s third edition.

View of T-Mobile Park from the Press Club. Ben Ray / The Reporter
T-Mobile Park at 25: Mariners fans share favorite ballpark memories

The venue turned a quarter of a century on Monday

Kamiak High School’s Victor Sanchez Hernandez Jr. puts on a University of Washington football helmet. Sanchez Hernandez, a three-star defensive end who’s heading into his senior season, committed to the Huskies. (Photo courtesy of Victory Sanchez Hernandez Jr.)
High school football recruiting: Here’s how Washington’s 2025, 2026 classes are shaping up

TNT sports reporter Jon Manley spoke with national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman.

From left to right: Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ellalee Wortham, Ava DePew and Presley Harris. The foursome, called “Awesome Mix 12,” won the High School Elite division in 2023 and returned to Spokane Hoopfest this year to claim the Women’s Competitive division title. (Photo courtesy Sarah Reese)
Winter Wesco rivals, summer hoopfest champions

Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ava DePew, Presley Harris and Ellalee Wortham teamed up to win back-to-back 3-on-3 titles.

Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith found little room between South Carolinas Destiny Littleton (11) and Laeticia Amihere. (Carlos Gonzalez / Star Tribune)
These Olympians in the 2024 Paris Games have ties to Washington state

Nineteen athletes competing in France are from The Evergreen State.

UW Husky rowing will be well-represented in Paris at 2024 Olympics

The U.S. eight competes in heat racing on July 29 with finals on Aug. 3.

Once an MLB bust, Mill Creek’s Travis Snider now hopes to change toxic culture

When Snider made it to the big leagues in 2008 at just 20 he was one of the game’s top prospects, touted as the Blue Jays’ next great hitter.

Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) skates with the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Flames at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chandler Stephenson’s deal about broader Kraken goals rather than dollar value

The former Golden Knights centerman signed a seven-year deal for $6.25 million with Seattle last week.

Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh (29) celebrates his two-run home run with a trident as he high fives teammates during the first inning against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (Elías Valverde II / Tribune News Service)
Statistics show just how terrible Mariners’ offense has been | Analysis

Seattle leads the AL West, but situational hitting has been a setback.

Chandler Fry makes a short birdie putt on Hole 6 on Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort’s Red Course. Fry is a professional from Olympia, Wash., and he has tallied 31 career wins. He will be one of the players in this year’s Mixed Pro Open (MPO) division. (Photo courtesy Andy Jaynes)
Disc golf tournament to bring hundreds of competitors to Kayak Point

The fourth annual Kayak Point Open will feature some of the best players in the state and the region this weekend.

Everett AquaSox outfielder Lazaro Montes, the Seattle Mariners’ No. 4 ranked prospect, smiles while running onto the field prior to Everett’s game against the Spokane Indians on June 26, 2024 at Funko Field. (Photo courtesy Evan Morud / Everett AquaSox)
AquaSox week in review: Big-prospect Montes one stop closer to dream

RJ Schreck and Will Schomberg lead split against Vancouver.

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert throws in the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians on April 7, 2023, at Progressive Field. (John Kuntz / Tribune News Service)
Mariners righty Logan Gilbert earns first MLB All-Star nod

Gilbert has made 18 starts this season and averages 6.5 innings per start, the highest in the AL.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.