The Mariners got their now-traditional home run. And they got a solid, welcome start from Felix Hernandez. But in the end, neither of those were enough Saturday night against Justin Verlander as the Astros continued their own hot streak with a 3-1 win at T-Mobile Park.
Just when it appeared Verlander was unhittable -- and he was, with eight strikeouts in his first 10 batters faced -- Mitch Haniger launched a solo homer off the Astros' ace in the fourth inning to extend the Mariners’ MLB record to 17 consecutive games with a home run to start a season.
The Mariners are marching well past the old record of 14 straight games with a homer to open a season set by the 2002 Indians, and the long balls have helped them get off to a 13-4 start with a rebuilt roster that wasn’t expected to contend in the American League West this year.
Haniger jumped on an 0-1 changeup left up over the plate and drove it 403 feet over the center-field wall. It was Haniger’s fourth homer of the season, and Seattle’s 38th in the first 17 games of the year.
But that was the only damage the Mariners could muster as the Astros slowed Seattle’s early-season roll with a second straight defeat.