Correa, Gattis lift Astros over Mariners as Paxton stumbles

Houston won 5-2 over Seattle

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano throws to first for the out after fielding a ground ball by Houston Astros' Tyler White during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) – Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis had two hits apiece and each drove in a run as the Houston Astros jumped on James Paxton and cruised to a 5-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night to move closer to clinching the American League West.

Houston’s magic number dropped to two, meaning the Astros could earn a playoff spot and secure their first division title since 2001 with a win on Saturday if the Angels lose Friday or Saturday.

The Astros led 3-0 after one inning as Paxton (12-4) struggled in his return from the disabled list after sitting out since Aug. 10 with a strained pectoral muscle. He allowed four hits and three runs while walking two in 1 1/3 innings to snap a seven-game winning streak. It tied the shortest start of his career and was his first loss since June 27.

Charlie Morton (12-7) went six strong innings, allowing five hits and one run while fanning seven. Ken Giles pitched a scoreless ninth for his 31st save.