Correa, Gattis lift Astros over Mariners as Paxton stumbles

The Houston Astros are on the verge of closing out the AL West.

Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis had two hits apiece to help Houston beat James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Friday night, dropping its magic number to two. The Astros could secure their first division title since 2001 with a win and an Angels loss Saturday.

“We’re excited. We can’t wait for that,” Correa said. “We’re chasing that first and then we want obviously to have the best record in the American League. So hopefully we can clinch soon and then go after the other one.”

The Astros led 3-0 after one inning, jumping all over Paxton (12-4) in his return from the disabled list after sitting out since Aug. 10 with a strained pectoral muscle.

Paxton got four outs and was charged with three runs and four hits, snapping a seven-game winning streak. It tied the shortest start of his career and was his first loss since June 27.

“I was out of whack on the mound,” Paxton said. “I was just watching some video, and my front side was going early, so I had nothing to throw against. I felt like I went to throw the ball, and there was nothing there.”

Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (12-7) struck out seven while pitching six innings of one-run ball. Ken Giles got three outs for his 31st save.

Jean Segura had…

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