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Walker, HRs lead Mariners past Astros

Jun 21, 2015 - 5:25 AM Seattle, WA ( - Taijuan Walker racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts and the Seattle Mariners beat the Houston Astros 6-3 on Saturday night.

Walker (5-6) was charged for three runs on five hits and didn't issue a walk in 6 1/3 innings.

Carson Smith picked up his fifth save by recording the final four outs. He struck out Chris Carter with two runners on base to end the eighth and tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.

Nelson Cruz, Seth Smith and Mark Trumbo all belted solo home runs off Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (8-3) in Seattle's first game with new hitting coach Edgar Martinez.

The franchise icon replaced Howard Johnson, who was reassigned to the minor league system.

"The fact is we haven't performed up to our capabilities for a season and a half," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of the new hire. "(Edgar) knows what he is doing (and) he knows what he is talking about."

Keuchel gave up five runs on five hits and struck out seven in six innings.

Walker surrendered solo home runs to Evan Gattis and Luis Valbuena in the second, but the Mariners responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Keuchel issued four walks in the frame, including two with the bases loaded.

"Dallas didn't have a good grip on the ball. You just don't see him walk those guys," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

Cruz then gave Seattle the lead with a blast to left-center field in the third. It was his 19th home run of the season, but his first since May 27 at Tampa Bay.

Smith and Trumbo homered in the fifth and sixth innings to put the Mariners up 5-2.

Houston got a run back in the seventh and was threatening for more. Vidal Nuno, who relieved Walker and inherited a runner on first base, walked Valbuena and gave up an RBI single to Marwin Gonzalez.

Erstwhile closer Fernando Rodney induced a pair of groundouts to defuse the rally.

Robinson Cano singled home Austin Jackson in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-3 Seattle lead.

Game Notes

Houston outfielder George Springer extended his hitting streak to a career high 13 games ... Hinch was ejected in the sixth after arguing a fan interference call.