Jose Abreu shoots 7 as Astros defeat Rangers

Jose Abreu had a career-high seven RBIs with a grand slam and a three-run home run Houston Astros hit five homers while completing a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 12-3 win on Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas.

Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley and Chas McCormick also hit home runs as Houston attacked Texas’ pitching again. The Astros hit 16 homers and amassed 50 hits in the streak while outplaying Texas 39-10.

Justin Verlander (11-7) gave up two runs, one earned and four hits in seven innings and has since improved to 5-2 in seven starts Astros reacquired him from the New York Mets.

The veteran right-hander had six strikeouts and a walk to help Houston (80-61) maintain a one-game lead over the Seattle Mariners in the American League West. The ranger (76-63) fell three games behind.

Verlander prevailed over former Detroit Tigers and New York Mets teammate Max Scherzer in a three-time Cy Young Award winners’ bout.

Scherzer (12-6) was rocked seven runs and six hits in three innings but has since fallen to 3-2 ranger acquired him from the Mets. He knocked out four and walked two.

Marcus Semien hit two home runs and three RBIs in a 4-for-4 for Texas, who lost for 15 times in 19 games and trailed the Toronto Blues by a half-game to earn the third AL wildcard spot.

ranger Star right fielder Adolis Garcia retired early in the second inning with a right knee problem.

Houston hit five homers on Monday and six on Tuesday, then provided the first-round power show on Wednesday when Alvarez hit a two-run homer down the middle, his 25th of the season.

At the end of the inning, Semien Verlander’s first pitch went over the wall to the left.

Brantley’s home run, his second of the season, tied the game 3-1 in the second half.

Houston loaded bases with a single and two walks in the third before Abreu ripped a 1-1 slider from Scherzer over the left midfield wall, a 425-foot shot that increased the lead to 7-1. It was Abreu’s fifth Grand Slam of his career.

Brantley’s sacrificial flight in the fifth game increased Houston’s lead to seven. Semien had an RBI single by the end of the fifth set and blasted a solo home run to the left in the eighth set, his 22nd of the season.

Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker started the ninth with a single before Abreu blocked a shot from Brock Burke, who narrowly crossed the wall along the left field line. It was his 14th home run of the season. McCormick followed with his 20th home run, a smash down the middle.

—Field-level media Jose Abreu shoots 7 as Astros defeat Rangers

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