By CHRIS TALBOTT Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Gerrit Cole won his 15th consecutive decision, striking out 14 and walking none while pitching two-hit ball over seven innings to lead the Houston Astros over the Seattle Mariners 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Cole (19-5) is unbeaten in 21 starts since losing to the Chicago White Sox on May 22. He is on the longest streak of consecutive winning decisions since Toronto’s Roy Halladay was 15-0 during an 18-start span in 2003.
Cole set an Astros season record with 316 strikeouts, three more than J.R. Richard’s total in 1979, and established a team record with his eighth straight game of double-digit strikeouts. He retired his final 12 batters.
He also set a big league record with his seventh start with double-digit strikeouts and no walks, moving one ahead of Clayton Kershaw, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Cole will try to win 20 games for the first time when he starts Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels on the final day of the regular season.
Houston (103-54) moved 49 games above .500 for the first time in team history. The AL West champions maintained their lead over the New York Yankees (102-56) for top record in the AL and homefield advantage throughout the AL playoffs.
Ryan Pressley and Roberto Osuna finished a four-hitter, the Astros’ 12th shutout this season. Osuna worked around a leadoff single for his 37th save in 43 chances.
Houston has won 12 consecutive games against the Mariners and is 17-1 against Seattle this season with one game left.
Alex Bregman hit his 40th homer, a fourth-inning drive off Tommy Milone (4-10). Aledmys Diaz had an RBI double in the seventh and scored when Josh Reddick grounded into a forceout.
Dee Gordon and J.P. Crawford had two hits each for the Mariners.
Seattle invited prospects Evan White, Logan Gilbert and Cal Raleigh to spend the week at T-Mobile Park with the team during its final homestand. The players are not on the big league roster so they can’t participate in workouts.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa was a late scratch due to lower back tightness. Correa took batting practice in the indoor cage. … LHP Lance McCullers is showing progress in his return from Tommy John surgery and will be sent to the Astros’ facility in Florida this week where his rehab will continue
Mariners: DH/1B Daniel Vogelbach was 0 for 2 with a walk after missing Sunday’s game at Baltimore with a sore neck.
Astros: RHP Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA) tries to win his fourth straight start Wednesday.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (6-10, 5.55 ERA) is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three starts against the Astros this season.