HOUSTON (AP) – Rookie Yordan Alvarez drove in three runs to back up seven strong innings by Gerrit Cole and help the Houston Astros to a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
The Mariners led 1-0 after J.P. Crawford homered into the bullpen in right-center with one out in the first.
George Springer drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning before a single by Jose Altuve and a walk by Alex Bregman loaded the bases. Alvarez, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left knee, then doubled on a line drive to right field to score two and put Houston up 2-1.
There was one out in the third when Bregman tripled to left field. Alvarez pushed the lead to 3-1 when he scored Bregman on a single to right field.
Cole (8-5), who allowed just four singles after the homer to Crawford, struck out 10 and walked one to win his fourth straight decision. Cole leads the American League with 151 strikeouts this season.
After consecutive one-run wins in the 10th inning, the Astros didn’t need any late dramatics in this one. They padded the lead with a three-run eighth inning highlighted by a two-RBI single by Jake Marisnick.
Mariners starter Marco Gonzales (9-7) allowed six hits and three runs while walking three in five innings to snap a four-game winning streak in his first loss since June 2.
Domingo Santana had two hits for the Mariners, who lost their fourth straight overall and fell to 1-9 against the Astros this season.
Santana singled with one out in the fourth before a two-out single by Omar Narváez. But Cole struck out Kyle Seager to end that inning.
Santana singled again with two outs in the sixth, but Cole retired the last four batters he faced with two strikeouts to end his day and keep the Mariners from cutting the deficit.
Collin McHugh got the first two outs in the eighth before Mallex Smith singled and Crawford walked to chase him. Ryan Pressly took over and struck out Santana to end the threat.
Mariners: 2B Dee Gordon was out of the lineup on Sunday after leaving Saturday night’s game with a strained quadriceps.
Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel sat out on Sunday to rest with a sore right ankle after he turned it on Saturday night. Manager AJ Hinch said he’s fine, but that he thought he needed a day to recover after tweaking it running the bases in Saturday’s win.
Mariners: Seattle is off on Monday before opening a three-game series with St. Louis on Tuesday where they’ll start an opener who has yet to be announced.
Astros: Houston is also off on Monday before traveling to start a two-game series at Colorado on Tuesday. Hinch declined to say who will start for the Astros on Tuesday.