Astros start fast, batter Ray for 3-game sweep of Mariners

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Houston Astros' Jose Altuve hits a solo home run on the first pitch of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 24, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By SHANE LANTZ

SEATTLE (AP) — Jose Altuve and Jeremy Peña hit back-to-back home runs off Robbie Ray to begin the game, and the Houston Astros roughed up the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner in an 8-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners that completed a three-game sweep.

Martín Maldonado had three RBIs from the No. 9 spot in the lineup and All-Star lefty Framber Valdez took a shutout into the seventh inning for the Astros, who won their fifth straight and increased their AL West lead to 13 games over second-place Seattle.

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The Mariners had won 14 in a row before Houston arrived, but were stopped cold by the defending AL champions coming out of the All-Star break. Ray was tagged for six runs and 10 hits in three innings.