Luis Castillo throws 7 strong innings, Mike Ford clears bases in 9-run 4th, Mariners pound Astros

Royals beat slumping Astros 6-5

HOUSTON (AP) — Luis Castillo threw seven strong innings, Mike Ford had a bases-clearing double during a nine-run fourth for Seattle, and the Mariners beat the Houston Astros 10-1 on Friday night.

Kolten Wong drove in two runs in the fourth, starting the scoring with an RBI single and concluding it with a two-out double. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

After Wong’s single that made it 1-1, Julio Rodríguez hit a two-run single to chase Houston starter Hunter Brown (6-6). Phil Maton struck out Ty France but walked Teoscar Hernández before Cal Raleigh added an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 4-1.

Eugenio Suárez was hit by a pitch, Jarred Kelenic worked a bases-loaded walk, and Ford followed with his double. Ford added a solo homer in the ninth against Houston outfielder Bligh Madris and finished with three hits and four RBIs.

Castillo (6-6) yielded one unearned run on five hits with three strikeouts, bouncing back after he allowed six runs in six innings last Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Kelenic, Ford and Wong — the 7-8-9 hitters in the Mariners’ lineup — combined to go 7 for 10 with seven RBIs. Seattle (44-43) has won six of seven to climb over .500 for the first time since June 2. The Mariners moved within four games of second-place Houston in the AL West.

Brown struck out eight in three innings but surrendered five runs on eight hits. He had allowed three runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.

Alex Bregman had an RBI infield single in the third for the Astros.

Astros sweep Cubs 7-6


Astros: DH Yordan Alvarez took batting practice on the field before the game. He could take part in José Urquidy’s live batting practice on Sunday, manager Dusty Baker said.


Kelenic struck out in the second inning when plate umpire Brian O’Nora called him for a pitch clock violation on a 3-2 count.


Seattle RHP José Rodriguez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma.


Houston LHP Framber Valdez (7-6, 2.49 ERA) will start Saturday for the first time since June 27 at St. Louis. Valdez missed his last scheduled start with right ankle soreness. RHP Bryan Woo (1-1, 4.08) starts for Seattle.

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