24-year-old rookie Brett Oberholtzer blanked the Mariners over nine innings this afternoon, becoming the first Astro to throw a complete game since Jordan Lyles on September 30 last year. Lyles was also the last to throw a shutout.
Oberholtzer allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out five. Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma was nearly as good, holding the Astros scoreless through seven on six hits and a walk while striking out seven. The Astros victimized reliever Charlie Furbush in the eighth to give their starter some support. Jose Altuve and Jason Castro hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the eighth. Castro would later score on a bunt single by Brandon Barnes.
Oberholtzer worked around a one-out single in the ninth to wrap up the shutout.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.