SEATTLE — Rookie Julio Rodríguez hit the first of Seattle’s four home runs off Houston ace Justin Verlander, and the Mariners thumped the Astros 6-1 on Friday night.
Rodríguez, Kyle Lewis, Ty France and Taylor Trammell all went deep off Verlander, tying his career-high for homers allowed in a start. Verlander (6-2) entered with seven earned runs allowed in 51.2 innings this season and gave up six to the Mariners, all via the long ball.
Rodríguez got the Mariners started with a two-run opposite field homer in the first inning on the first pitch he saw from Verlander. Four batters later, Lewis unloaded with his first of the season, also a two-run homer. Lewis’ long ball was estimated at 441 feet and was his first since May 28 last year before suffering a knee injury that required surgery and forced the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year to miss the rest of the season.
France added a solo homer run in the third, his seventh of the season, and Trammell barely cleared the fence in right-center field in the sixth inning.
Seattle’s 10 hits were the most allowed by Verlander since April 15, 2017, when he still pitched for Detroit. The six earned runs were the most allowed since 2018 when Verlander also gave up six runs to the Mariners.
Verlander started the night with a scoreless streak at 19 innings — one off his career-best — and a major league-leading 1.22 ERA. The scoreless streak ended after three batters, and his ERA ended the night at 2.03.
On the other side, Seattle’s Chris Flexen tossed a gem, rebounding from three consecutive shaky outings. Flexen (2-6) allowed one run and seven hits over seven innings with six strikeouts. Flexen has allowed five earned runs in 18 innings over three starts against Houston this season.
Houston’s lone run came on Jose Siri’s fielder’s choice in the second inning. Houston was held to three runs or less for the seventh time in the past 11 games.