HOUSTON (AP) — The Seattle Mariners are still far behind the AL West-leading Astros in the standings.
But manager Scott Servais hopes the team’s first series win in Houston since 2018 will be a small — but important — step in one day vying with the Astros for a division title.
Cal Raleigh and Ty France both homered early and the Mariners beat the Astros 6-3 Wednesday night to finally win a series at Minute Maid Park.
“You have to eventually (win in Houston) or we’re never going to win the West,” Servais said. “That’s just where it’s at.”
The Mariners took two of three to win their fourth consecutive series overall and first in Houston since September 2018.
The Astros have won the AL West in four of the last five years and currently have a nine-game lead over the second-place Angels.
“They’ve dominated the division the last couple of years, so anytime you can come in here and take a series from them it’s good,” Raleigh said.
Seattle has struggled at Minute Maid Park in recent years. The Mariners won more games in this set than they did in Houston in the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined when they were a paltry 1-16.
“We have taken our lumps in this ballpark but guys really stepped up in this series and again today,” Servais said.
Seattle is in fourth place in the division, but has heated up lately, winning eight of its last 12 games.
“We are moving the ball in the right direction,” Servais said. “We’re still chipping away, we still got work to do, but we did exactly what we needed to do on this trip.”
The Mariners trailed by two with one on and one out in the fourth when Raleigh homered for the second time this series, a shot to right-center off José Urquidy (5-3) that tied it at 3.
France connected with two outs in the…