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Yordan Álvarez, Mauricio Dubón and Martín Maldonado each hit home runs while the Houston Astros improved their chances of reaching the postseason for the seventh straight year by defeating the Seattle Mariners 8-3 on Wednesday night.
The Astros (87-72) won two of three games in the series to move 1 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners (85-73) in the race for the third and final wild card spot in the American League playoffs.
But facing Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, Just a game and a half separated the two teams in the race for the American League wild card. With the Texas Rangers clinging to first place in the American League West, The three-game series between the Astros and Mariners could have massive ramifications for both sides.
The Astros removed the starting ace Cristian Javier to face George Kirby, who was receiving the ball for Seattle. With no one out in a scoreless third, Mariners batter Josh Rojas hit a ball to right fielder Alex Tucker, picked up the ball and threw it to José Altuve at second base for relief as runners attempted to bunt. Unfortunately, Altuve’s throw to third went over the head of outfielder Alex Bregman, leading to the Mariners scoring the first run.
“The Mariners take the lead thanks to a shooting error by José Altuve and T-Mobile Park is vibrating” – Talkin’ Baseball
The Astros couldn’t recover that first lost run. RBI’s Julio Rodríguez and Cal Raleigh would put the Seattle Mariners up 4-0 in the fourth inning. Seattle would ultimately win the game 6-2, reducing their deficit to just 1.5 games behind the Astros.
The error was Altuve’s sixth of the season and dropped his fielding percentage to .972, its lowest value since the 2019 season. A former Gold Glove player who has been praised for his play at second base for the Houston Astros, the play was quite unusual for José.
After the match, José Altuve could do nothing but admit his own responsibility, stating:
‘Terrible shot. I don’t think I had a chance, but the adrenaline of the game, I tried to do too much and put the team in a bad situation. I have to hold the ball there and give the pitcher a chance to play into a double play. I put the team in a bad situation’”.
José Altuve took full responsibility for the blunder in the key game against the Marineros: “I put the team in a bad situation,” he said before the crucial mistake Tuesday in Seattle.
The T-Mobile Park was in full swing. After his team made the postseason for the first time in 22 years last season, only to be swept by the Astros, emotions are high.
The decisive hour begins for José Altuve and the Houston Astros
This weekend, the Mariners will host the Texas Rangers while the Astros will head to Arizona. The American League West It will be decided on Sunday.
The Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners attacked each other in the middle of a very important game in the Emerald City yesterday.
Both Houston and Seattle are fighting for the American League wild card and were a half-game back before Wednesday night’s game. All of that is going to change, one way or another. Seattle could take the lead at that position, which would be seen as the ultimate failure for Astros fans. Houston could also take a big lead and seemingly control its own destiny for both the wild card and the AL West title.
Seattle will face Texas next, so, ironically, the Astros will support the Mariners in just a few days. Yes, that’s how the playoff picture works.
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