SEATTLE (AP) — Martin Maldonado hit a three-run home run, Framber Valdez struck out eight to set career highs for wins and strikeouts, and the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Tuesday night to close on their fourth straight playoff berth.

Houston (28-27) is second in the AL West, comfortably ahead of the fourth-place Mariners (24-31) and the third-place Los Angeles Angels (25-31). The defending AL champions have five games left.

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