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SEA@TEX: Ramirez holds Rangers to one earned run

As the Mariners try to snap their six-game losing streak, Erasmo Ramirez will look to bounce back from his first loss of the season.

The Angels and Rangers swept Seattle in the past two series, but the Mariners are hoping they can get back on track against the Astros.

Although he lost his last time out, Ramirez is 4-1 and has turned in quality starts in back-to-back outings.

Last time out, Ramirez pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs on Mike Trout's two-run home run.

"He took a bat to my mistake and it was 2-0 in the first inning," Ramirez said. "But after that, I put in my mind that two runs are already there, so I'm still in the game and need to just go as deep as I could, because I still had the ball in my hands."

While the Mariners look to get back into the win column, the Astros will send Jordan Lyles to the mound, hoping he can continue the trend of strong Astros starting pitching.

Lyles is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two starts against Seattle this season, but Astros starters have posted a 3.59 ERA (19 earned runs in 47 2/3 innings) in the last eight games.

"In the long run, we have to continue to get better so that we have an opportunity next year for these kids to finish the year and say: 'You know what? I have a shot at the rotation,'" pitching coach Doug Brocail said. "There's only so many big league jobs, and they're precious jobs."

Mariners: Wedge wants more aggression on basepaths
Aggressive baserunning is typically measured in stolen bases, but Mariners manager Eric Wedge would like to see his team succeed in all phases of running the bases.

Seattle has a roster full of young, athletic players and Wedge wants to put more pressure on defenses and incorporate some small ball into the Mariners' offense.

"I want to do that, I do," Wedge said. "I want to have that be an option where you can steal more, you can hit-and-run more, you can use the bunt game a little bit more, whether it be for a hit or a safety squeeze, regular squeeze. I think we're going to have some guys that can do some of those things if we can stay healthy."

Astros: Club believes Altuve will break through
Jose Altuve's slump continued Wednesday as the Astros second baseman went 0-for-4.

Altuve has just eight hits in his last 53 at-bats, but the second baseman has remained in the third spot in the order and Astros manager Bo Porter believes he will break through.

"The biggest thing with Altuve right now is he's always been an aggressive, attack kind of hitter, and he needs to realize that the league knows he can hit, too," Porter said. "When they know that you can hit, they're not going to lay the ball in the strike zone."

Porter feels Altuve, who has drawn just 28 walks this season, needs to relax and be more patient at the plate in order to break out of his slump.

Worth noting:
• The Mariners and Astros have already met 12 times this season and Seattle has won seven of those contests.

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