SEATTLE – Jose Altuve had two hits and an RBI and the Houston Astros damaged the Seattle Mariners post-season hopes with a 5-2 victory Wednesday.
Altuve had a RBI double in the fifth and a single in the seventh for his league-leading 200th hit. He is the second Astros player to accomplish the feat, joining Craig Biggio — who set the franchise record of 210 in 1998.
Altuve leads the league in hitting at .337, hits and steals with 52. If he finishes as the leader in all three categories he would be the first to do that since Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.
“I feel real happy,” Altuve said. “We won this game, I got 200 hits and the team is playing great. Couldn’t ask for more.”
Houston chased Hisashi Iwakuma (14-7) after just 4⅓ innings, his third-shortest outing of the season.
Iwakuma struggled with his control from the start. The best indicator was his one-out walk to Jon Singleton in the second inning. It was just his 15th walk issued in 161⅔ innings this season.
Matt Dominguez then popped out before three straight hits, by Alex Presley, Max Stassi and Jonathan Villar, produced three runs.
In Iwakuma’s 24 previous starts, opponents had scored a combined three runs in the second inning.
After Iwakuma’s second walk — his 16th of the season — with one out in the fifth, he was lifted. He gave up four runs and six hits and struck out six.
“Kuma had a bad outing, the hitters had a bad outing, the defense had a bad outing, everything was bad,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It’s just one of those days.”
The Mariners, who lost two of three in the series, remained a half-game behind Detroit for the American League’s second wild-card spot. The Tigers lost to AL Central rival Kansas City, 3-0.
Oakland, which opens a three-game series at Safeco Field on Friday, holds a two-game advantage over the Mariners for the first wild-card spot.
Nick Tropeano (1-0), making his major league debut, held the Mariners in check for his five innings. He allowed two runs and four hits, striking out five and walking none, and left with a 4-2 lead.
Tony Sipp finished the ninth for his fourth save in five opportunities. Regular closer Chad Qualls has a nagging hip injury and was unavailable.
Angels 8, Rangers 1
In Arlington, Texas, Albert Pujols tripled to open the scoring and finished a home run shy of the cycle and rookie Matt Shoemaker had another strong start.
The AL West-leading Angels (90-55), who are nine games up on Oakland after the A’s lost at the Chicago White Sox, were the first team in the majors to 90 wins with their season-high seventh straight victory.
Royals 3, Tigers 0
In Detroit, James Shields allowed two hits over seven innings in another terrific performance, and Kansas City edged the Tigers to take a one-game lead over them atop the AL Central.
Royals leadoff hitter Norichiki Aoki was 0-for-3.
Yankees 8, Rays 5
In New York, Mark Teixeira made up for a botched foul pop in the Rays’ four-run first inning with a go-ahead triple in the fifth, Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs, and the Yankees used their biggest comeback of the season to beat Tampa Bay.
New York’s Ichiro Suzuki was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Orioles 10, Red Sox 6
In Boston, Chen Wei-yin pitched perfect ball into the sixth inning, Adam Jones helped provide an early cushion and Baltimore beat the Red Sox for a three-game sweep.
The Orioles took an 8-0 lead in the fifth and maintained their double-digit lead atop the AL East.
White Sox 2, Athletics 1
In Chicago, Avisail Garcia drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning, and the White Sox beat struggling Oakland.
Twins at Indians — ppd.
Blue Jays 11, Cubs 1
In Toronto, Drew Hutchison matched his career-high with 10 strikeouts in 6⅓ innings, Dioner Navarro had two hits and two RBIs, and the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep.
Chicago reliever Kyuji Fujikawa allowed three runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning, striking out two and walking two.
Munenori Kawasaki went 0-for-1 for the Blue Jays.