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Houston pounds Hernandez early, finishes with team-record 11 doubles to cap four-game home sweep

ALVAREZSuffice to say the Seattle Mariners have a ways to go to catch up to the Houston Astros in the American League West.

The Astros pounded the visiting Mariners 21-1 on Sunday afternoon to complete a four-game sweep at Minute Maid Park and give them 11 consecutive wins over Seattle.

Houston (94-50) has the best record in the major leagues

Seattle, which has lost six in a row, is 58-86, last in the division.

It was a short but long day for Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (1-6). He allowed 11 runs (seven earned) in two-plus innings, giving up seven hits (one home run) and two walks, with one strikeout.

Houston scored four runs in the second inning, then added nine in the third for a 13-0 advantage.

Seattle scored in the fourth with its only hit, a homer by Shed Long.

The Astros finished with 22 hits, including a club-record 11 doubles (by eight players).

The Mariners struck out 17 times, with Houston starter Gerrit Cole (16-5) notching a season-high 15 with no walks and the one hit allowed in eight innings.

Houston rookie Yordan Alvarez drove in a career-best six RBIs, with three doubles and four hits. George Springer hit a home run and had four RBIs.

The Mariners will get a day off before opening a three-game homer series with Cincinnati. Seattle plans to start left-hander Justus Sheffield (0-1, 5.51), while the Reds are slated to go with Trevor Bauer (10-12, 4.60).

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