SEATTLE — Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and the Houston Astros scored six runs in the seventh to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-1 on Wednesday night.
Cole (2-0) struck out five, ending a string of double-digit strikeout games at three. He gave up only an unearned run.
The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in their biggest-scoring inning of the season off Mariners starter Mike Leake and relievers Nick Vincent and James Pazos.
The first five Houston batters reached against Leake (2-1), starting with Josh Reddick’s leadoff walk. After Yuli Gurriel hit a double in the left-field corner, Marwin Gonzalez followed by lining Leake’s first pitch to center field for a two-run single that gave the Astros a 3-1 lead.
Brian McCann doubled to deep right center, and Houston grabbed a 4-1 lead on a fielding error by right fielder Mitch Haniger, who got a late jump on Evan Gattis’ shallow fly ball.
Two batters later, George Springer hit a two-run double off Vincent that caromed off the right-center wall, and Houston had a 6-1 lead.
The Astros grabbed an early 1-0 lead on McCann’s RBI double to left field in the second inning, scoring Gonzalez.
Seattle tied it 1-1 in the third on Robinson Cano’s run-scoring single to center field.
Gamel up, Miranda down
To make room for outfielder Ben Gamel (strained right oblique) on Wednesday, LHP Ariel Miranda was sent to Triple-A Tacoma. Gamel batted seventh in his first game back, and will get the most time against right-handed pitching, manager Scott Servais said.
When Seattle needs a fifth starter Sunday in Texas, is will be RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who will make his season debut.