HOUSTON -- The Seattle Mariners jumped on Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel for three runs in the first inning, and that was all they needed in a 3-1 victory on Saturday night.
Given that early cushion, Mariners starter Joe Saunders and the bullpen continued their dominance of Houston. Seattle defeated the Astros for the eighth time in their last nine meetings, picking up its third straight win.
Although Saunders (11-13) didn't put up the inning-eating performance he's accustomed to, he pitched well enough to keep the Astros in check. Saunders went 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and three walks, while striking out two.
Carter Capps and Yoervis Medina combined to pitch 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, with Danny Farquhar pitching the ninth to earn his 11th save.
The Mariners' early lead was established without an extra-base hit. Brad Miller led off with a single and advanced to third on a Kyle Seager single. Miller was brought home by an infield single from Kendrys Morales, and the next batter, Raul Ibanez, walked to load the bases.
A Franklin walk allowed Seager to score, and Morales scored when Dustin Ackley grounded out to first.
Ackley was the first of 12 consecutive batters that Keuchel (5-8) retired until the fifth inning.
Houston out-hit the Mariners eight to six but stranded 10 runners in the process, while Seattle stranded six.
The Astros' lone run against Saunders came in the fourth inning when Seattle catcher Humberto Quintero caught Jake Elmore stealing. However, Quintero's throw ricocheted off second baseman Nick Franklin's body, allowing Brandon Barnes to score from third. Franklin was charged with an error on the play.