Seattle scratched rookie Julio Rodríguez from the lineup moments before the first pitch with a sore left wrist, then lost its first game since July 1. The club was one win away from tying the 2001 Mariners for the longest winning streak in franchise history.
Houston extended its AL West advantage over second-placed Seattle to 11 games.
Altuve started the game with a home run against the starter Marco GonzalesAlvarez added another solo shot in the fourth, and Martin Maldonado connected in the fifth for a 3-0 lead.
Alvarez tagged Altuve with a sacrifice fly later in the fifth, and Jake Myers had an RBI single in the sixth for a 5-0 advantage.
Gonzales (5-10) was charged with all five runs in 5 2/3 innings, with nine hits allowed.
France hit a solo homer for Seattle in the sixth inning against Jose Urquidy (9-4).
Urquidy threw 105 pitches in six innings, allowing an earned run on four hits with three strikeouts.
Eugenio Suarez drew a base-laden walk in the eighth to pull the Mariners into the three, but shortstop Jeremy Pena made a leaping grab to take a hit from Kyle Lewis and the Houston pitcher Ryne Stanek striped Cal Raleigh to end the threat. The Mariners left nine runners on base.
Rodríguez, 21, was pulled from training days after a breakout show at the All-Star Home Run Derby. There was no immediate indication of the severity of his wrist problem.
LEWIS UP, UPTON OUT
Seattle activated outfielder Kyle Lewis from the seven-day disabled list after recovering from a concussion and opted for the outfielder Justin Upton at Triple-A. Upton refused the surrender and elected free will.
Lewis was hit in the head by a pitch from Urquidy on May 28.
Sailors: DE Mitch Haniger (ankle) began a rehab mission Friday with Class A Everett. Seattle placed Haniger on the IL on April 30, when he suffered a Grade 2 sprained ankle in a game against the Marlins. Haniger has only played nine games this season.
Astros: DE Michael Brantley (shoulder) could start hitting this week, according to manager Dusty Baker. Brantley was placed on the IL on June 28 with shoulder discomfort.
Astros HRP Justin Verlander faces Mariners LHP Logan Gilbert Saturday. Verlander has a record 12 MLB wins this season and a 1.89 ERA. Gilbert’s most recent start came against Texas on July 16, when he allowed four hits and one earned run in five innings.
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