MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - INSIDE PITCH
The Mariners picked up where they left off before the All-Star break Friday, smashing 11 hits, including four home runs, to defeat the hometown Astros 10-7 at Minute Maid Park.
It continued a hot month for a Seattle team that was averaging 5.85 runs per game through 13 contests this month.
Rookie shortstop Brad Miller spearheaded the onslaught, launching two homers -- the first of his major league career -- and finishing 3-for-5 with five RBIs.
"I definitely wanted to drive the ball and hit some balls hard," Miller said. "I honestly just wanted to get on base, especially now that I'm hitting leadoff. Just get on base and pass it on and keep it going because everybody has been swinging great."
Third baseman Kyle Seager added another homer for Seattle, a two-run shot in the fourth that enabled the Mariners to extend their club record of games with a home run to 23.
First baseman Justin Smoak completed the power surge with a ninth-inning leadoff shot that provided the Mariners with some insurance after Houston had rallied with three runs in the eighth inning.
"You've got to have the people that you feel comfortable putting in there on a daily basis to have a consistent lineup," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "That's something you're always shooting for. If you look at good clubs they've got good players that find their way, that know where they should be hitting, and you run them out there every day with the exception of the occasional day off. That's a credit to them and what they're doing that allows us to have a more consistent lineup."
MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won four
PAST 10 GAMES: 6-4
NEXT: Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma, 8-4, 3.02) at Astros (Erik Bedard, 3-6, 4.61)
--3B Kyle Seager extended his hit streak to 15 games, the longest active streak in the majors, with his two-run home run in the fourth inning. Seager, who finished 1-for-5, is one of three players with at least three separate 10-plus game hitting streaks this season (Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury and Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera are the others).
--RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will make his 21st start this season in the middle game of the Mariners' three-game set with the Astros. Iwakuma leads the American League with a 0.94 WHIP and entered the unofficial second half ranked sixth in ERA at 3.02. He is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two career appearances (both starts this season) against the Astros.
--SS Brad Miller hit his first and second career home runs, with his first coming in the sixth inning and in his 72nd career plate appearance. His multi-homer game was the 10th by a Seattle player this season, most recently accomplished by Raul Ibanez on July 12 against the Red Sox.
--1B Justin Smoak cranked his ninth home run of the season, a leadoff shot in the ninth inning off RHP Hector Ambriz. Smoak is batting .375 (18-for-48) in July with six doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs over 13 games. The home run was his sixth since being activated from the 15-day disabled list on June 18.
--RHP Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his 20th save on the season by inducing a fielder's choice groundout while facing the tying run in the eighth inning before allowing one run in the ninth. The multi-inning save was the first of the season for Wilhelmsen and just the third of his career.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He has power. He has considerable power. Just talking the ball off the bat, the way it jumps. He's going to be a hitter first, but he'll hit a few home runs." -- Manager Eric Wedge, after rookie Brad Miller hit his first career homers in Friday's win over Houston.
MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - ROSTER REPORT
--RHP Stephen Pryor (torn right lat muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 15, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 17. He threw 25 pitches in a simulated game early in the week of July 7. He threw two simulated games the week of July 8 and was sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Tacoma July 18.
--CF Franklin Gutierrez (torn right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list April 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 5. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on May 16. He was shut down in early June, but he began a new rehab assignment with Tacoma on June 12. He was activated June 22, but he had to come out in the seventh inning June 23 when his hamstring tightened up. He went back on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 24. He was sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Tacoma July 18.
--OF Endy Chavez (right groin tightness) left in the fourth inning of the July 11 game. Manager Eric Wedge said he didn't believe the injury was major, although he missed the next three games heading into All-Star break and the first one after the All-Star Game.
--1B/OF Michael Morse (strained right quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 21. He did running drills July 2 but did not run the bases as planned before the July 5 game because of damp conditions at Great American Ball Park. He might begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma in mid-July.
--C Jesus Sucre (sprained left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6.
--C Jesus Montero (torn left meniscus) is expected to be out until late June or early July after undergoing surgery in early June. He isn't on the disabled list because he was optioned to the minors before he got injured.
RHP Felix Hernandez
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
LHP Joe Saunders
RHP Aaron Harang
RHP Tom Wilhelmsen
RHP Yoervis Medina
LHP Charlie Furbush
LHP Oliver Perez
RHP Danny Farquhar
LHP Lucas Luetge
LHP Bobby LaFromboise
RHP Hector Noesi
1B Justin Smoak
2B Nick Franklin
SS Brad Miller
3B Kyle Seager
DH Kendrys Morales
INF Brendan Ryan
CF Michael Saunders
RF Endy Chavez
LF Raul Ibanez
OF Jason Bay
OF/INF Dustin Ackley