Mariners, Astros face off in rubber game of series (Aug 01, 2018)


The reinforcements have begun to arrive for the Seattle Mariners. The Houston Astros will have to wait until the weekend.

Right-hander Sam Tuivailala and left-hander Zach Duke, acquired in trades with St. Louis and Minnesota, respectively, made their Mariners debuts in relief Tuesday night in a 5-2 loss to the Astros. Right-hander Adam Warren (acquired from the New York Yankees) and outfielder Cameron Maybin (Miami) are on their way.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made four deals in five days leading up to Tuesday’s non-waiver trading deadline, getting Tuivailala on Friday, Duke and Warren on Monday and Maybin on Tuesday morning.

Maybin, 31, batted .251 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 99 games for the Marlins. He played for the World Series champion Astros last fall.

“We’re excited to get Cam,” Dipoto said. “He’s experienced, the energy he brings, he gives us another athlete, a runner who adds to the way we play and can start pushing the envelope a little bit. Over this last month or so he’s been in a really good place offensively.

“He’s played a really strong center field this year, and we know he’s multi-position capable. He fits into the theme of what we’re doing and I think adds better balance to our club. And the experience of a guy who’s been through it for as long as Cam has doesn’t hurt.”

The Astros, who snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak Tuesday, acquired closer Roberto Osuna in a controversial deal with Toronto on Monday.

Osuna, 23, is currently on a rehabilitation assignment while serving a 75-game suspension under the league’s domestic abuse policy. His suspension will end Sunday, when he’ll join the Astros in Los Angeles.

“We did a lot of work on this deal over the course of not just the past few days, but past weeks,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We are confident the player understands the magnitude of what he’s been charged with and is remorseful about what has occurred and proactively has taken steps to address any of his past behavior …”

The series finale Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field in Seattle will feature a pair of left-handers in Houston’s Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 3.60 ERA) and the Mariners’ Wade LeBlanc (6-1, 3.51).

Keuchel is 8-7 with a 3.07 ERA in 17 career appearances (16 starts) against the Mariners. But he’s 0-2 against them this season. He suffered a 2-1 loss April 16 in Seattle despite pitching a complete game. He didn’t fare as well June 5 in Houston, giving up seven runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-1 defeat.

LeBlanc is 0-0 with a 5.32 ERA in seven career appearances (three starts) against Houston. Three of those appearances, and one start, came this season. In eight innings against the Astros in 2018, he hass allowed seven runs on 12 hits.

After being blanked 2-0 on four hits by James Paxton and Co. on Monday, the Astros broke out with a 15-hit attack in the second game of the series. The Astros got two-run homers from Evan Gattis and Josh Reddick in Tuesday’s win.

“Yeah, 15 hits (Tuesday) is a good sign, and getting the win is a good sign,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “The bats woke up a little bit. Nice to put some hits together, especially late when the game was close. Just an overall good feeling to win.”