Bregman’s 100th homer helps Astros beat Mariners 8-5

Kristie Rieken Ap Sports Writer
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman hit his 100th career homer, a three-run shot, and Jose Altuve added a solo drive to give the Houston Astros an 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

The Astros trailed by two in the third inning before Bregman’s first home run of the season put them ahead 4-3. Altuve, who had two RBIs, connected in the fifth for the first of three runs to pad the lead and help the Astros take three of four in the series from their AL West foes.

Josh James was not sharp in his return to the rotation after spending last season in the bullpen. He allowed three runs and needed 75 pitches to get through three innings. But then Brandon Bielak (1-0) ate up the next 3 1/3 innings to win his major league debut and save Houston’s bullpen.

“He shut them down and gave our offense time to come back,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He was throwing strikes. He had all his pitches working ... he’s a very calm pitcher. He saved us big-time.”

Bielak permitted four hits and two runs — one earned — while striking out four.

Bielak said he cried when he got the news Monday morning that he was being called up. He admitted to having some jitters early but he managed to keep his nerves in check.

“I just stick to my work ethic,” he said. “I put all this work in to lead up to this moment and I just have to trust myself.”

Roberto Osuna worked a scoreless ninth for his first save.

Mariners starter Kendall Graveman (0-1) yielded six hits, seven runs and struck out seven in four-plus innings in his first game in 807 days after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

“Obviously, wanted the outcome to be better, but it’s good to be out there, arm felt good,” Graveman said. “Getting deep into ballgames is hard to replicate in the big leagues — just being out there and pitching.”

The Mariners were up by one with two outs in the third when Evan White knocked an offspeed pitch from James to left field for a two-run homer to extend the lead to 3-0. Graveman looked sharp early and struck out the side in the first. He gave up a pair of singles in the second but got out of the jam with a double play.