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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 24th (All times eastern)

Seattle Mariners (8-14) at Houston Astros (6-14), 2:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Joe Saunders (1-2, 4.50) Houston - Lucas Harrell (1-2, 4.98)

(Sports Network) - Already seven games out of contention in the American League West, the Houston Astros try to keep up with their new set of league foes this afternoon as they finish up a three-game set versus the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park.

Houston, which has made the transition from the National League to the AL beginning this season, managed to snap a three-game slide on Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over the Mariners. Of the club's six wins on the campaign, three have come versus Seattle.

Marwin Gonzalez hit his third home run of the season for the hosts, a solo shot to lead off the third inning, and Jose Altuve scored what proved to be the game-winning run later in the frame.

Unfortunately, the inning was not all positive for the Astros as starting center fielder Justin Maxwell suffered a fractured left hand after being hit by a pitch thrown by Hisashi Iwakuma, sending him to the 15-day disabled list.

Starter Bud Norris picked up his third win of the season as he allowed just one run on eight hits and a couple of walks, striking out just two, over the course of five innings. Pitching a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts, Jose Veras picked up the save.

"I didn't have my best stuff today, but I battled and made it through five innings and kept it a one-run, two-run ball game," Norris said of his performance. "I have a comfort zone at home. Our job [as starters] is to pass it on to the bullpen. Getting the lead makes it easier on us."

Iwakuma was eventually saddled with his first loss of the season after permitting three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks, although he did strike out 11 over five innings.

Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Justin Smoak all had two hits for the visitors, the former connecting on a solo home run as the team lost for the fourth time in the last five outings.

Making his first-ever appearance against the Mariners today is Lucas Harrell. The right-hander, originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2004, is currently 1-2 on the season after winning his most recent outing on Friday versus Cleveland.

Against the Indians, Harrell lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out four. Already Harrell has issued five bases-on-balls twice this season, which is why he has only two more strikeouts (15) than walks through four appearances.

Getting his second crack at the Astros is Seattle hurler Joe Saunders. In his first appearance of the campaign versus Houston, the left-hander gave up six hits and walked one, while striking out five over 6 1/3 innings, but he still kept the Astros scoreless in what became a 3-0 win back on April 8.

Saunders, who is 1-0 in three career outings versus Houston, was knocked around in his most recent start, permitting seven runs on nine hits and three walks through 4 2/3 innings at Texas on Friday.

Sitting six games out of first in the division, the Mariners aren't doing themselves any favors at the plate, hitting a league-low .226. However, even though Seattle has had issues with Houston during the first month of the season, the Astros are still the team that everyone wants to bat against, as the squad sports a league-high 5.31 ERA.

04/24 10:30:44 ET

  • NFL: San Diego at Denver

    Tonight at 8:25 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

    Tonight at 8:25 on 620am

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Calgary Flames

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
Final
KAN 7
SFG 2
Final
ORL 89
HOU 90
Final
BOS 100
BRK 86
Final
NYK 103
WAS 100
Final
MEM 96
CLE 92
Final
MIL 91
MIN 110
Final
SAN 107
ATL 117
Final
LAL 94
POR 86
Final
LAC 108
PHO 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
MIAMI
7:00pm Wednesday
OTT 0
TOR 0
Final
PIT 3
PHI 5
Final
EDM 3
WAS 2
Final
ANA 4
BUF 1
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
BUF
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CLB
 
8:25pm Tonight
DEN
SDC