By JIM HOEHN, Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Cameron Maybin would be hard-pressed to find a better way to cap his first week with a new team.
Maybin hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift Houston past the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Wednesday night, helping the Astros complete a three-game sweep to extend their winning streak to seven.
It was the second consecutive game-winning homer for Maybin, claimed off waivers last week from the Los Angeles Angels.
“He’s been a nice spark for us on a lot of levels,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s come in with some energy, he’s come in with a ton of enthusiasm. He’s a good player. We knew everybody would like him. He’s obviously performing at a high level, earning more at-bats. Big swing tonight.”
Carlos Beltran opened the ninth with a double down the left-field line off closer Edwin Diaz (3-6), who relieved to start the inning. Jake Marisnick ran for Beltran and advanced to third on Max Stassi’s groundout to short.
Maybin then lofted a 100 mph fastball the opposite way just inside the right-field foul pole for his ninth home run and second winner in as many nights. Maybin’s two-run homer in the seventh inning Tuesday gave the Astros a 3-1 victory.
“I was just hoping it was going to stay fair,” Maybin said. “It came off big and it stayed straight.”
It was the 10th home run allowed this season in 59 1/3 innings by Diaz, who allowed only five in 51 2/3 innings last year as a rookie.
“I think I have to tip my hat to Maybin,” Diaz said. “He hit a great pitch.”
Chris Devenski (8-3) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the win.
Seattle erased a 2-1 deficit with two runs in the sixth off Lance McCullers Jr., activated off the disabled list earlier in the day for his first start since July 30.
Jean Segura tripled to open the sixth and came home on Robinson Cano’s one-out RBI single. Nelson Cruz singled, chasing McCullers. Mitch Haniger’s RBI single off Will Harris made it 3-2.
Houston tied it in the seventh on a double by Marwin Gonzalez and RBI single by George Springer.
McCullers, an All-Star for the first time this season, did not allow a hit until Kyle Seager opened the fifth with his 22nd homer, his third in three games. McCullers allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking one in a 76-pitch outing.
Houston took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Josh Reddick singled with one out, Yuli Gurriel walked and Gonzalez followed with a two-run double off the base of the wall in right-center.
Houston, which led the AL West by 16 games at the end of July, slipped to 11-17 in August with several injuries, but is undefeated in September to push the lead back to 14 ½ games.
The Mariners, coming off a sweep of Oakland, fell 3 ½ games out of the second wild card with five teams bunched ahead of them.
McCullers was activated off the 10-day DL (back discomfort) to start Wednesday night. … RHP James Hoyt was recalled from Triple-A Fresno for his third stint this season with the Astros. Hoyt was 1-0 with a 4.98 ERA in 38 relief appearances this season with Houston.
INF Shawn O’Malley was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma. O’Malley hit .229 in 89 games with Seattle in 2016, but spent most of 2017 on the disabled list. He hit .205 in 20 games at Tacoma.
Astros: RHP Michael Feliz pitched one inning in a rebab start for Class A Quad Cities, retiring all three batters he faced.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (2-2, 3.25) opens the four-game series at Oakland on Friday following a day off. McHugh makes his ninth start since coming off the DL on July 22.
Mariners: After a day off, RHP Mike Leake (1-0, 2.57) makes his second start for Seattle to open the three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field on Friday. Leake, acquired from St. Louis on Aug. 30, allowed two-first inning runs in his Mariners debut, but settled in for seven strong innings to pick up the victory in a 3-2 win over Oakland.
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