Monday 23rd April, 2018
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Gordon hopes to start new streak vs. Astros

Sports Xchange - Monday 16th April, 2018

Dee Gordon was finally held hitless this season but only because of a close call that had to go to a video review.

Gordon hit safely in each of the first 12 games until Sunday and attempts to start a new streak Monday night when the Seattle Mariners host the Houston Astros in the opener of a four-game series at Safeco Field.

Gordon's streak ended in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss to Oakland. He laid a bunt down the third-base line with a runner on in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss to Oakland, but Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman was able to throw him out.

At least, that's what the umpire ruled.

Mariners manager Scott Servais requested a review of the play, which was inconclusive, leaving Gordon without a hit.

Gordon, acquired from Miami during the offseason, has been quite the catalyst for the Mariners thus far, along with Nos. 2-3 hitters Jean Segura and Robinson Cano. Gordon is hitting .327 while Cano is batting .375 and Segura also is hitting .327.

"The story should be about these guys and the way they are swinging it," Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales said. "I can't speak enough of Dee and the energy he brings. You can tell he just fires guys up."

The day they acquired Gordon, a Gold Glove Award-winning second baseman, the Mariners announced they would be moving him to center field, a position he had never previously played in the majors.

"I thought that would be a challenge for him," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Different ballparks and the uniqueness of where the wall is at, how to time certain things and getting a fell for reading balls off the bat -- it does take time. You want to get as familiar as you can as fast as you can. But I'm not worried about Dee Gordon. He's a pro."

Gordon has had a couple of hiccups, with two errors thus far.

"I think not enough people understand that I've only been playing center field for like, what, a month? Gordon told the Tacoma News Tribune. "If I had been perfect at this to start the season then somebody should get me a Gold Glove."

But he's getting used to it and seems up to the challenge.

"I think it's cooler (playing center field), honestly," Gordon said. "But I love second base and I do miss it. But I just want to help us win games."

The series opener will feature a pair of talented left-handers still in search of their first victory of the season.

Houston's Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA.

In 15 career appearances against the Mariners, including 14 starts, he's 8-5 with a 2.70 ERA.

Keuchel pitched just four innings in his last start, a 4-1 loss at Minnesota, and walked four batters for the second straight appearance.

"Teams are giving me the opportunity to get ahead (in the count) and I'm just behind on a few guys," Keuchel said after his last start. "I've got to attack the zone and make more quality pitches and be more competitive early to get them on the defense. When you get major league hitters on the defense, your chances at success go skyrocketing up."

Keuchel is scheduled to be opposed by Seattle's James Paxton (0-1, 5.74 ERA). Paxton has made eight starts against the Astros in his career, going 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA.

Paxton took a no-decision Wednesday at Kansas City when he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings of a 4-2 win. He allowed two runs for the second straight start and struck out 10.

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