HOUSTON -- Astros left-hander Brett Olberholtzer outlasted his Seattle counterpart, right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, and Houston rewarded him by rallying for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 2-0 victory over the Mariners on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.
With the win, the Astros (45-91) snapped a five-game losing skid and salvaged the finale of a four-game series with the Mariners (62-74).
After Iwakuma worked seven scoreless innings, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and Houston catcher Jason Castro opened the eighth with back-to-back doubles off Mariners left-hander Charlie Furbush (2-5). Matt Dominguez advanced Castro to third base with a fly ball and pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes followed with a squeeze bunt that scored Castro and doubled the Astros' lead.
Olberholtzer (4-1) allowed three hits and one walk over eight innings. He allowed just one runner into scoring position. Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak walked to open the third inning and advanced to third when shortstop Brad Miller singled with two outs.
Olberholtzer returned to the mound in the ninth to a rousing ovation from the crowd of 17,203. He surrendered a one-out single to third baseman Kyle Seager, but retired Kendrys Morales and Franklin Gutierrez en route to his first career complete-game shutout, a four-hitter - all singles. He walked one and struck out five.
Iwakuma matched zeros with Olberholtzer, allowing six hits and one walk while fanning seven. He danced around a pair of runners in the second inning and did so again in the fourth when Astros center fielder Trevor Crowe recorded the lone extra-base hit off Iwakuma with a two-out double that followed an Iwakuma walk of Chris Carter.
But like he did in the first, second, fifth and seventh innings, Iwakuma induced a groundball out to close the frame, on this occasion getting right fielder L.J. Hoes to roll over on a ground ball that Nick Franklin swallowed up with a diving stop before recovering to record the out.
NOTES: The Mariners recalled former closer Tom Wilhelmsen from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday and will use him in multiple roles now that RHP Danny Farquhar has converted 11 of 12 save opportunities since taking over for Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen went 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA in eight games with the Rainiers after posting an 0-3 record and 4.37 ERA with five blown saves in 29 opportunities with Seattle. ... The Astros recalled OF Crowe Saturday night and inserted him into the starting lineup on Sunday. Crowe hit .200 in 34 games before suffering a sprained right shoulder on June 20. He was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 11 and hit .304 in 60 games with the RedHawks.