Cole twirls birthday gem as Astros pound Mariners 21-1

AFP
Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole heads to the locker room after giving up just one run in eight innings in a 21-1 Major League Baseball victory over the Seattle Mariners (AFP Photo/Tim Warner)
Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole heads to the locker room after giving up just one run in eight innings in a 21-1 Major League Baseball victory over the Seattle Mariners (AFP Photo/Tim Warner)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole celebrated his 29th birthday in style Sunday, allowing just one hit and striking out 15 in the Astros' 21-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Cole improved to 16-5, his 12th straight win matching a club record set in 1993 by Mark Portugal and equalled in 2002 by Wade Miller.

He retired 24 of 25 batters he faced, with a home run by Seattle's Shed Long the only hit he surrendered all day.

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Meanwhile the Astros offense pummelled Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez allowed 11 runs, seven earned, in less than three innings.

He gave up four runs in the second and surrendered six doubles a walk and a hit batter in the third when the Astros erupted for nine runs.

The Astros took their season record against Seattle to 16-1.

Their 11 doubles -- three of them by Yordan Alvarez -- surpassed the team record of 10 set May 11, 1999, in a 19-8 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Once Hernandez departed after facing seven batters without getting an out in the third inning, the Astros unloaded on the Mariners bullpen scoring three runs in two innings against relief pitcher Wade LeBlanc and five off Reggie McClain in the seventh.

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