SEATTLE — The Astros played almost all of their three-game streak against the Mariners with borderline pathetic baseball. Two of their three starting pitchers delivered duds, including ace Justin Verlander. Their defense made four errors in three games, almost unheard of for one of the sport’s strongest units. The lineup scored three goals in 27 innings and finished 1-to-17 with the runners in goal position.
Still, the Astros boarded a plane to California after what might have been their worst performance of the season Sunday night with a 3 1/2 game lead in the American League West. They held a two-game lead before the start of the series.