ARLINGTON, Texas — Carlos Correa, Brian McCann and Cameron Maybin had three RBIs each and Dallas Keuchel allowed one earned run and five hits in six innings as the Houston Astros routed the Texas Rangers 14-3 on Tuesday night to clinch no worse than the second-best record in the American League.
Houston (97-60) trails Cleveland by one game with five to play in the race for the league’s best record. The Indians own the tiebreaker, having won the season series.
The Astros did clinch home field in the best-of-5 AL Division Series.
Texas was eliminated from wild-card contention when Minnesota won earlier Tuesday night. The Rangers have lost five straight, equaling their longest skid of the season, during which they have been outscored 38-7.
Keuchel (14-5) struck out eight and walked one. Owning a 9-0 record before going on the disabled list in early May with neck discomfort, he improved to 5-5 since.
The Astros chased Rangers ace Cole Hamels (11-5) before he could record an out in the fourth inning. Hamels allowed four runs in the first inning and two in the fourth, giving up six hits and four walks. It was his shortest outing since allowing seven runs in 1 2/3 innings on Sept. 5, 2016 in a 14-6 loss at Seattle.
Hamels went into the game 7-0 in 10 home starts this season and 5-0 in his Rangers career vs. Houston.
Texas’ Delino DeShields hit an inside-the-park home run to center field in the sixth when Maybin failed to make a backhanded catch while running into the padded wall.
The Rangers held a telethon during Tuesday’s local telecast to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey on Texas’ gulf coast. The Astros Foundation – in partnership with Crane Worldwide, FedEx and the Houston mayor’s office – will send 240,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. . Home plate umpire Carlos Torres wore a Rangers catcher’s mask since his crew’s gear didn’t arrive by game time.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (bruised left forearm) sat out after being hit by a pitch on Monday night. Manager A.J. Hinch said Altuve might start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale. . OF Josh Reddick (back) missed his second straight game.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre played in the field for the first time since being on the disabled list Sept. 1-11 with a strained hamstring. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.
Astros RHP Justin Verlander (14-8) is 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four Houston starts. In his last Arlington appearance with Detroit, he allowed five runs in six innings in a 10-4 loss on Aug. 15.
Rangers RHP Nick Martinez (3-7) is 0-4 with six no-decisions and a 7.02 ERA since winning at Yankee Stadium on June 25.