HOUSTON (AP) — Aaron Sanchez has been pulled after pitching six hitless innings in his Houston debut, and the Astros are working on a combined no-hitter through seven innings against the Seattle Mariners.
Sanchez struck out six, walked two and hit a batter with a pitch Saturday night — three days after he was acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline. He was replaced by Will Harris to start the seventh after throwing 92 pitches.
Harris pitched a hitless inning, and the Astros extended their lead to 7-0 in the bottom half.
Houston manager AJ Hinch patted Sanchez on the chest after he finished the sixth, and pitching coach Brent Strom offered a hearty handshake.
The 27-year-old Sanchez was an All-Star in 2016, but has struggled this season and entered Saturday's game having lost 13 straight decisions to lead the majors with 14 losses.
Sanchez plunked Omar Narváez with two outs in the first inning and retired the next nine batters before walking Daniel Vogelbach with two outs in the fourth. Ryan Court hit a soft grounder with two outs in the fifth but first baseman Yuli Gurriel fielded it and tossed it to Sanchez, who dashed to first base just in front of Court for the third out.
Sanchez walked Mallex Smith with one out in the sixth, then retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Harris walked Domingo Santana with one out in the seventh, but J.P. Crawford grounded into a double play.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports