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Sports

Mariners losing streak reaches 7 after loss to Astros

Mariners losing streak reaches 7 after loss to Astros
Seattle Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley can't catch an RBI double hit by Houston Astros' Matt Dominguez Monday, April 21, 2014, in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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SEATTLE (AP) - Matt Dominguez homered and drove in three runs, Dallas Keuchel struck out a season-high eight and the Houston Astros broke a seven-game skid with a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

It is the seventh straight loss for Seattle, which is the longest active streak in the majors.

The Astros took advantage of an error by Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager in the sixth inning to score four unearned runs off Felix Hernandez (3-1) and break a 2-all tie.

Hernandez took the major league lead with 43 strikeouts after recording four, but was unable to avoid his first loss of the season after shaky defense put the right-hander in a tough situation in the sixth.

Keuchel (2-1) deftly navigated the Mariners for six innings, allowing six hits and a walk, but just two runs.

After Jose Altuve led off the sixth with a double, Mariners catcher Mike Zunino fielded a bunt by Dexter Fowler and attempted to throw out Altuve at third base. Zunino's throw arrived in time and on the mark, but Seager dropped the ball as he moved to tag Fowler.

Jason Castro followed with a sacrifice fly to score Altuve and give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Hernandez looked as if he'd escape further damage by striking out George Springer, but Marc Krauss, Alex Presley and Dominguez hit a run-scoring single, triple and double, respectively.

Houston began the night with a .192 batting average, the lowest for any major league team through 19 games since the 2003 Detroit Tigers (.180), according to STATS. The Tigers went on to lose 119 games. The Astros collected nine hits on Tuesday to raise their average to .196.

Dominguez broke a scoreless tie with a two-run home run over the visitor's bullpen in left field in the fifth. Dominguez's line-drive shot followed a single by Alex Presley, which had been just the second hit of the game for the Astros.

The Mariners quickly responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning as Abraham Almonte hit a two-run double down the right-field line.

Two replay reviews were upheld, both benefiting the Astros. The first came when Zunino hit a towering fly well over the foul pole in left in the seventh inning that was ruled a long strike. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon asked the umpires for another review in the eighth when it appeared Altuve's foot may have come off second base as the Astros were attempting a force out at the bag. The call was upheld and the runner was ruled out.

NOTES: RHP Collin McHugh, who the Astros will recall from Triple-A on Tuesday to replace the injured Scott Feldman in the rotation, will likely be limited to about 85 pitches. ... Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker, on the DL with right-shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to see a doctor on Wednesday. If all goes well, Walker will resume throwing. ... Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said LHP James Paxton is on a timetable to return six to eight months from when he strained his left lat muscle on April 9.
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Zunino's homer lifts Mariners past Indians, 6-5 Zunino's homer lifts Mariners past Indians, 6-5