Tucker’s walk off sweeps Seattle

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A walk-off home run off the bat of Kyle Tucker Sunday afternoon secured the Astros’ first series win over the Seattle Mariners on the shortened season.

The teams split a four-game series to open the season and will meet for another three-game series at the end of September.

“It was more of a relief for me,” Tucker said. “I put a good swing on a ball for the first time in a while, it seems.”

Sunday’s win was the fourth of a season-best, five-game winning streak that catapulted Houston over the .500 mark and to within four games of the first-place Oakland Athletics entering play Tuesday.

On Monday, the Astros scored a pair of runs in the first and starting pitcher Brandon Bielak’s lone earned run allowed came in the third inning of a two-game set with the Colorado Rockies in Houston before the teams play two more games in Colorado.

Behind Lance McCullers Jr.’s 26.1 innings pitched are three fresh-faced hurlers who have been called to action in the wake of numerous arm injuries to begin the season. Framber Valdez (23.2 IP) was an up-and-down player last year while Christian Javier (21.2 IP) and Bielak (21.1 IP) both made their MLB debuts this year and have proven themselves worthy of a rotation spot. Veteran Zack Greinke, 36, has also supplied 21.1 innings pitched and has recorded 18 strikeouts.

At the plate, Yuli Gurriel has the team lead in hits (25) and home runs (5) and is second in runs scored (14) and average (.291). Carlos Correa’s batting average still sat above .300 entering play Tuesday with 24 hits in 79 at-bats.

After this week of interleague play concludes, the Astros will face the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers over the next 17 games spanned over 18 days starting Aug. 24.

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