Four Houston Astros pitchers combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners Saturday night in a 9-0 win in front of the home crowd.
Former Fisher Cat Aaron Sanchez made his debut with the Astros a memorable affair, twirling six innings. Right-handers Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski each worked an inning to complete the no-hitter, the 12th in franchise history. Houston improved to 11-1 against Seattle this season.
Sanchez (4-14) was winless over his past 17 starts with the Toronto Blue Jays, who shipped him to Houston along with Biagini on Wednesday at the trade deadline. Sanchez did not resemble the pitcher who posted a 7.49 ERA and 1.82 WHIP during that miserable stretch, relying more on his four-seam fastball and less on his sinker to handcuff the Mariners.
Sanchez entered his first start for Houston with a 36.9 percent usage rate for his sinker and 21.3 percent rate with the four-seamer. Against Seattle, 33.7 percent of his 92 pitches were four-seamers, and Sanchez essentially halved his sinker usage, his 18.5 percent rate matching that of his changeup.
After plunking Omar Narvaez with a 2-1 curveball with two outs in the first, Sanchez retired nine consecutive batters before walking Daniel Vogelbach with two outs in the fourth. Sanchez retired the ensuing five batters, issued a one-out walk to Mallex Smith in the sixth, and capped his start by inducing two groundouts to strand Smith, the lone runner to reach scoring position, at third.
Sanchez walked two and recorded six strikeouts for his first win since April 27 against Oakland.
The Astros were hasty in providing Sanchez with run support, scoring three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first. Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley recorded consecutive doubles off Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (12-9) following a George Springer walk, with Brantley plating Springer with the initial tally. Altuve scored on a run-scoring groundout by Alex Bregman before rookie designated hitter Yordan Alvarez notched his 40th RBI in his 40th game with a single.
Altuve smoked an opposite-field homer, his 18th, leading off the fifth to extend the lead to 4-0. Brantley added a two-run double off the scoreboard in left in the sixth, scoring Martin Maldonado and Altuve.
Altuve, Brantley, Alvarez, Bregman and Carlos Correa posted multi-hit games.