EditorsNote: Fix spelling Austin in 10th graf
Gerrit Cole pitched seven shutout innings on a historic night as the Houston Astros continued their mastery of the host Seattle Mariners with a 3-0 victory Tuesday night.
Cole (19-5) allowed only two hits and struck out 14 without issuing a walk. He matched his career high for victories set in 2015 with Pittsburgh and surpassed the Astros’ franchise record for single-season strikeouts (313), set by J.R. Richard in 1978.
Cole now has a major-league-leading 316 strikeouts.
Alex Bregman hit his 40th home run of the season for the Astros, who are 17-1 against Seattle this season. Ryan Pressly struck out three in the eighth inning, and Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 37th save.
The Astros (103-54), who have already clinched their third straight American League West title, moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the New York Yankees (102-56) in the race for the best record in the majors and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Yankees lost 2-1 at Tampa Bay in 12 innings.
The news wasn’t all positive for the Astros, as All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa was scratched from the starting lineup after telling manager AJ Hinch he was feeling tightness in his back. Correa returned from the injured list last week after missing 26 games with a back issue.
Bregman broke a scoreless tie when he led off the fourth inning with a homer to left field off Mariners left-hander Tommy Milone (4-10).
The Astros tacked on two runs in the seventh.
Kyle Tucker led off with a double to center field and scored on Aledmys Diaz’s double to left. Diaz advanced to third when Martin Maldonado lined out to center.
Right-hander Brandon Brennan replaced Milone and got Josh Reddick to ground to first, but Austin Nola’s throw to the plate in an attempt to nab Diaz was a bit wide, allowing Diaz to slide in safely before catcher Omar Narvaez could make the tag.
Milone allowed three runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings, with three walks and three strikeouts.
He took over in the third inning after rookie right-hander Justin Dunn served as the Mariners’ opener. Dunn pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no walks while striking out one.
—Field Level Media