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Mariners Nip Astros -Top Pitching Prospect Makes Debut Tonight

lumberkings.mlblogs.com

Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run homer after Nick Franklin gave Seattle an early lead with a solo shot and the Mariners held on for a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night to end a six-game skid.

Franklin put the Mariners on top with his one-out homer off Jordan Lyles (6-7) in the first inning.

Raul Ibanez singled to start the fourth inning. Franklin Gutierrez’s homer to left field with one out pushed Seattle’s lead to 3-0. Gutierrez had three of Seattle’s six hits to finish a triple shy of the cycle.

Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez (5-1) allowed five hits and two runs and tied a season high with seven strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings.

Yoervis Medina struck out three in 1 1-3 perfect innings before Danny Farquhar threw a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.

Top prospect Taijuan Walker will make his major league debut for Seattle on Friday at Houston, taking on the Astros less than three weeks after turning 21.

It’s quite the impressive feat for Walker, who was selected in the first round of the 2010 draft. But the talented right-hander is bit behind the pace of teammate Felix Hernandez, who pitched in his first major league game at age 19.

Walker, who started the season at Double-A Jackson before being promoted to Triple-A Tacoma, got a welcome and a hug from Hernandez on Thursday. Hernandez hadn’t had time to chat with Walker yet, but having been in his shoes, the ace said he would be happy to give him advice if asks for it.

Walker says he knows he’ll be nervous in the first inning, but hopes he calms down after that.

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