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Astros hang 21 runs on Mariners

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The Astros polished off a four-game series sweep of the Mariners with a 21-1 drubbing on Sunday afternoon in Houston. It’s the Astros’ 16th win in their last 20 games.

Yordan Álvarez provided the most offense, racking up three doubles and six RBI. He was one of seven Astros with multiple hits on the day. Jake Marisnick and George Springer homered while Abraham Toro doubled twice.

On the pitching side of things, Gerrit Cole was dominant, picking up his 16th win with eight innings of one-run ball. He held the Mariners to one hit and one run — a Shed Long solo homer — with no walks and 15 strikeouts. This marks the second start of Cole’s career in which he struck out at least 15 batters. He struck out 16 Diamondbacks in a one-hit shutout on May 4 last year.

The Astros are the only team to have scored 20-plus runs in a game this year and they’ve done it twice. They trampled the Orioles 23-2 on August 10. The last time the Mariners gave up 20-plus runs was on June 13, 2017 when they lost 20-7 to the Twins.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.