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Astros light up Mariners rookie Brandon Maurer

Apr 9, 2013, 10:45 PM EST

Brandon Maurer AP

Finally getting to take out some frustration, the Astros racked up six runs and seven hits in the first Tuesday against Mariners starter Brandon Maurer, sending him to the showers after 36 pitches.

It was a second straight rough outing for Maurer, who climbed over several pitchers this spring to win a spot in the Mariners rotation. He gave up six runs over six innings in a loss to Oakland in his major league debut last week.

While the Mariners probably won’t bail on Maurer after two starts, he’s going to have to be better next time to keep his spot. If he fails again, the Mariners could give Jeremy Bonderman a shot. Bonderman, who is trying to return to the majors after two years off, allowed three runs in five innings in his first start for Triple-A Tacoma.

Ideally, the Mariners would have Erasmo Ramirez available to fill in, but he’s on the minor league DL after coming down with some elbow soreness late in the spring. They do have top prospect Danny Hultzen available if they don’t want to turn to Bonderman. Hultzen has battled control problems since being drafted second overall two years ago, but he had a nice season debut for Tacoma, allowing one run in six innings and striking out eight.

As for the Astros, their six runs in the first tonight matched their total from the previous three games combined. They had been shut out in three of their first seven games.

  1. dondada10 - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    The M’s would probably be better off letting Hultzen throw 60 or so innings in Tacoma before they bring him up. Not to manipulate his service time, but rather to let him truly straighten out his control issues.

  2. hip2bdaniel - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    You gotta mention who’s pitching for Houston. ERIK BEDARD! Definitely part of this story.

  3. oprk - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Bedard’s part of the story, just like every Bedard story, is durability. Even with a 13-0 lead and needing just 3 more outs to qualify as the winning pitcher, he was gone after 4 innings and 66 pitches. Even when he does good, durability and health is always the main part of every Bedard story.

    • jeffa43 - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      That and he had to sit 30 minutes between each inning, and the temp was high 40’s…

      The story was more prevention of injury as opposed to because of injury. It is hard for a pitcher to sit that long in the cold inning after inning.

      He had already warmed up 5 times. They just called a rookie up who has starting ability, so it was the perfect opportunity to give him the ball and test him.

  4. seattlenative57 - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Turns out Bedard was on a 65-pitch limit imposed by ‘Stros manager Bo Porter. So no matter what the score or inning, Bedard was destined to be gone after 65 pitches or so.

    The story of this blowout wasn’t Bedard, but Maurer’s second sub par outing. He’s hitting too many bats and not expanding the strike zone like he was in Arizona this spring. He’ll get a couple more shots to improve, which I think he’ll do.

    • geoknows - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      I heard Bedard left with an “undisclosed injury.”

  5. coryfor3 - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    He still struck out 9 guys though.

    • paperlions - Apr 10, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Wow, not even a mention of him setting an MLB record (most Ks while only recording 2 outs).

      • coryfor3 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        Yeah um- this was a joke referring to the Astros’ tendency to strike out. Try to keep up.

      • paperlions - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Yes, so was mine. Obviously. Very, obviously.

  6. Old Gator - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    As long as he got lit up, I think a great nickname for Maurer would be “Candlefish.” They’re indigenous to Pacific northwest coastal waters and they’re so full of oil that if you dry one out, you can light its head and it’ll burn down like a candle – hence the name. Seattle is one of the most whacked-out urbs in this hemisphere, a kind of boreal Macondo. So, let’s make the Crew of the Minnow interesting again.

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