Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Astros break out in blowout over Rangers

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2020, 13:40 GMT+10

Alex Bregman finished a single shy of the cycle and the Houston Astros broke free of their recent offensive doldrums by bashing four home runs in their 12-4 victory over the host Texas Rangers on Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Bregman finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. He delivered a run-scoring triple in the first inning, a two-run home run in the fifth and a double in the sixth. His fifth home run of the season, a 404-foot shot to left, drove in Michael Brantley and extended the Houston (29-28) lead to 7-0.

The Astros reduced their magic number to clinch a postseason berth to one game. Houston will clinch second place in the American League West with one more win against Texas or a loss by the Los Angeles Angels, who will face the division champion Oakland Athletics this weekend.

Houston wasted little time initiating its attack against Rangers ace right-hander Lance Lynn (6-3), snagging a 2-0 lead in the opening frame when Bregman, who drove in Jose Altuve with his RBI triple, scored on a fielding error by Rangers center fielder Leody Taveras on a ball struck by Kyle Tucker.

The Astros extended their advantage to 5-0 in the second when George Springer crushed his 14th home run to straightaway center field, a 445-foot blast that plated Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick. Bregman produced the second home run off Lynn before Altuve added a third in the sixth inning with a 386-foot shot to left-center field that drove home Reddick and Springer, making it 10-0.

Reddick added a two-run homer, his fourth, off Texas right-hander Rafael Montero in the ninth. Houston scored at least 10 runs for the first time since an 11-4 win over the Angels on Aug. 24.

It marked the second time in as many starts that Lynn struggled mightily against the Astros. He allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 12 hits and two walks with five strikeouts before departing with two outs in the sixth. Lynn had pitched seven innings in each of his previous three starts but allowed season highs in hits, runs and homers.

In his previous start against the Astros on Sept. 3, Lynn was tagged for six runs on eight hits, including two home runs, and two walks over six innings in an 8-4 loss at Minute Maid Park.

Astros rookie right-hander Cristian Javier (5-2) carried a shutout into the sixth before surrendering a two-run homer to Willie Calhoun, his first on the season for Texas (19-38).

--Field Level Media

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