Astros crush Mariners, cut magic number to 10

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While the NFL was enjoying opening weekend, the Houston Astros scored three touchdowns and gave up an extra point Sunday as they crushed the Seattle Mariners, 21-1, at Minute Maid Park.

Quarterbacking the Astros was 29-year-old birthday boy Gerrit Cole who gave up a solo home run while striking out 15 across eight innings. It was the 12th-straight win for Cole (16-5), who has struck out 14 or more in three consecutive games. The win gave the Astros a four-game sweep of the Mariners, where they outscored the West Coast visitors, 41-15.

Houston belted a record 11 doubles in the game with six of them coming in the third inning where the Astros exploded for nine runs. Yordan Álvarez, who had six RBIs in the game, hit two of his three doubles in the third.

The Astros are 16-4 over their last 20 games. On Sunday, they tied a franchise record with their 55th home victory. The Astros are 27-4 across their last 31 games at home. In the last week, the Astros split a pair in Milwaukee before humiliating the Mariners.

The Astros lead in the American League at 94-50. Their magic number to clinch the AL West is down to 10 games.

Up next for Houston is a four-game series with Oakland, followed by three games in Kansas City.

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