By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) — Josh Reddick homered for the second straight game and Alex Bregman had two hits and stole home to help the Houston Astros to a 7-4 win on over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
The victory extends Houston’s winning streak over the Mariners to nine games and improves the Astros to 14-1 against them this season.
Reddick, who hadn’t homered since June 28 before Thursday night’s shot, put the Astros on top with a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Bregman had an RBI double in Houston’s three-run first and stole home in the fifth to pad the lead.
Houston starter Framber Valdez allowed just two hits, but walked a career-high six and gave up three runs in four innings. Joe Smith (1-0) struck out one in a scoreless sixth for the win and Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.
Seattle opener Reggie McClain allowed three hits and three runs in one inning. Tommy Milone (3-9) took over and yielded three hits and four runs in four innings.
Tom Murphy had two RBIs and Daniel Vogelbach hit his 30th homer as the Mariners dropped their fourth in a row.
Valdez walked three consecutive batters with one out in the first. The first of those walks was to Mallex Smith, who stole third base after the second walk to give him a major league-leading 40 this season.
Murphy drove in two runs with a single to give Seattle the early lead. Valdez struck out Tim Lopes before third baseman Abraham Toro made a nifty sliding catch in foul territory to grab a ball hit by Shed Long to end the inning.
After Bregman’s double in the first inning, Michael Brantley scored on a groundout by Yordan Alvarez to tie it. The Astros took a 3-2 lead when Yuli Gurriel hit an RBI double down the right-field line.
Lopes singled, stole second base and advanced to third on an error by catcher Martin Maldonado with no outs in the fourth. Braden Bishop walked with one out before Dylan Moore grounded into a force out that scored Lopes to tie it at 3-all.
There were two outs in the bottom of the inning when Reddick knocked his homer into the second deck in right field to put Houston up 4-3.
Bregman singled with one out in the fifth before Milone plunked Alvarez. Gurriel then grounded into a force out that sent Bregman to third and left Alvarez out at second. Gurriel injured his left hamstring on the play and was replaced by Aledmys Diaz.
Then with Kyle Tucker batting, Diaz looked to be caught in a rundown, but Bregman took off for home and beat shortstop Dylan Moore’s throw for his first career steal of home. It was the first time an Astro had stolen home since July 3, 2015, when current Mariner Domingo Santana did it, and it pushed the lead to 5-3.
Vogelbach sent Joe Biagini’s first pitch of the sixth inning into the seats in left field for his homer to get the Mariners within one.
The Astros added a run on an RBI single by Brantley with two outs in the sixth inning. They made it 7-4 when Jose Altuve scored on a passed ball by catcher Austin Nola.
Astros: Gurriel left the game with discomfort in his left hamstring and is listed as day-to-day. … SS Carlos Correa (lower back soreness) worked out on the field before Friday’s game and felt good. Manager AJ Hinch said the next step would for him to hit on the field as he moves closer to a return. … Reliever Ryan Pressly (arthroscopic knee surgery) threw about 15 pitches two-thirds up the slope of the mound on Friday and Hinch said he will likely throw a bullpen session sometime this weekend.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (6-9, 5.36 ERA) will start for Seattle on Saturday night. He allowed six hits and three runs in five innings for a win against Texas in his last start.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.56), who is second in the majors with 257 strikeouts is scheduled to start for Houston. Verlander threw his third career no-hitter in a 2-0 win over Toronto in his last start. He walked one and struck out 14 as he became just the sixth pitcher to throw at least three no-hitters in the majors.