HOUSTON (AP) — Cristian Javier combined with two relievers on a two-hitter, and the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 2-0 on Tuesday night to get above .500 as they bounced back from a long skid.
Javier (3-0) allowed two hits in a career-high seven innings — both by Kyle Seager — struck out six and walked three.
“He showed me he’s in shape,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “Even though his velocity went down there in the one inning, and then, he reached back and went back up to 93 (mph). He had a good breaking ball, a good fastball. … He gave us what we wanted. He gave us seven innings.”
Javier extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings over three starts and lowered his season ERA to 0.87.
“I’m really just going out there to have fun,” he said through a translator. “That’s the first thing I am focused on is to have fun and do my job, letting things fall how they may.”
Houston catcher Martín Maldonado said Javier was able to mix his pitches well.
“He looked really good,” Maldonado said. “His fastball command wasn’t there like it normally is. I think we mixed different pitches where we got them guessing second or third time through the lineup.”
Brooks Raley and Ryan Pressly each pitched a perfect inning, with Pressly getting his third save.
Seattle did not move a runner past second.
Houston has won five of six to reach 12-11, a spurt that followed nine losses in 10 games.
“We’ll take these victories,” Baker said. “Back over .500, it’s been a good homestand. We want to close out strong before we go on the road.”
Seattle has lost three in a row.
Yordan Álvarez had a sacrifice fly and Kyle Tucker an RBI single in a two-run fourth off Marco Gonzales (1-3), who allowed five hits in six innings with four…