Jake Meyers, Astros aim to stay hot vs. Mariners

MLB

Jake Meyers has been a pleasant surprise since making his big-league debut for the Houston Astros nearly a month ago.

He’s been particularly good against the Seattle Mariners.

Meyers will look to send the Astros to their fourth consecutive road victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night.

Since receiving his major-league introduction on Aug. 1, Meyers is batting .333 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 22 games. On Monday, he delivered a go-ahead, RBI single to cap a two-run eighth inning in Houston’s 4-3 victory.

“He’s a very stable young man. He’s not overwhelmed by this,” Astros manager Dusty Baker told the club’s official website. “He listens and he learns rather quickly. His future is bright, and we’ll take anything that he can give us.”

Meyers is 7-for-16 with one homer and seven RBIs in four games versus Seattle. The AL West-leading Astros, meanwhile, have won eight of their past 11 games overall.

Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (10-4, 3.32 ERA) is slated to start for Houston on Tuesday.

This will be the third time he faces the Mariners this season. On July 27, he gave up four runs, walked three and struck out eight in six innings during the Astros’ 8-6 victory at Seattle.

McCullers was more efficient when the teams met at Houston on Aug. 20. He yielded two runs with only a walk while again striking out eight over six innings of the Astros’ 12-3 rout.

Seattle’s Kyle Seager homered off McCullers in each of those contests. He has a career-high 31 home runs this season.

“The impact of what (Seager has) done for us offensively, and certainly being able to write him in the lineup (is important),” manager Scott Servais told the Mariners’ official website.

Seager, however, is 1-for-13 in his past four games for the Mariners, who have lost four of five while trying to stay in the wild-card hunt.

Scheduled Seattle starter Yusei Kikuchi (7-7, 4.33) has struggled for the most part against the Astros in 2021, going 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA in four starts. While opposing McCullers earlier this month, Kikuchi was tagged for seven runs — with three homers — and seven hits with three walks in just 2 2/3 innings.

“I kind of feel like they were on all my pitches for the most part, timing-wise,” Kikuchi said of his latest outing against the Astros.

Houston’s Carlos Correa has been particularly tough on Kikuchi this season, going 6-for-11 with a double and a triple. Teammate Yuli Gurriel is 3-for-10 with two home runs and a double versus Kikuchi in 2021, and Meyers homered for his only hit in two at-bats against him.

The left-hander appeared in position to bounce back Thursday, when he threw five scoreless innings. But Kikuchi exited before getting an out in the sixth, then was charged with four of Kansas City’s five runs during the frame in the 6-4 Mariners’ home loss.

In his past five home starts, Kikuchi is 0-2 with a 6.39 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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