Astros magic number 1 for AL playoff spot after win at Texas

The Houston Astros are at the verge of clinching the American League’s closing playoff spot, powered by means of a few of their mainstays in a breakout efficiency that definitely excited supervisor Dusty Baker.

“I’m simply hoping that those guys are about to get scorching,” Baker mentioned.

Simply in time for the postseason.

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George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick all homered with runners on base, and every completed with 3 hits, because the Astros trimmed their magic quantity to 1 for clinching the American League’s closing playoff spot with a 12-Four win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday evening.

“I believe that’s what we must be doing. We are an excellent offense,” mentioned Bregman, who had 3 extra-base hits. “It is repeating. We have now had a couple of video games this 12 months I assumed we swung the bat neatly, however we did not in point of fact repeat it, so now it is time to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and stay doing that.”

The Astros (29-28) must win handiest one among their 3 closing video games in opposition to Texas to safe 2nd position within the AL West, and a place in baseball’s expanded playoff all the way through the pandemic-shortened season. In addition they get in if the Angels (26-31) lose any of their ultimate three-game collection in opposition to the NL-best Dodgers.

Houston’s three-year reign as AL West champion has already been ended by means of Oakland. Seattle had the time off when the Astros gained to do away with them from the playoff chase.

Bregman, Springer, Altuve and Reddick were a part of the hot playoff runs with the Astros, together with their 2017 International Collection identify and any other AL pennant closing 12 months.

A’s right-hander Mike Fiers was once the whistleblower within the Astros’ offseason sign-stealing scandal. He publicly referred to as out his former membership for dishonest in an editorial revealed by means of The Athletic closing November. Supervisor AJ Hinch and basic supervisor Jeff Luhnow misplaced their jobs after MLB’s investigation into the claims.

Baker, employed simply prior to spring coaching, is now in line to turn out to be the primary primary league supervisor to take 5 other groups to the postseason. He is already controlled the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals within the playoffs.

The Astros had a 10-Zero lead in Five 2-Three inning in opposition to Texas workhorse Lance Lynn (6-Three) prior to their rookie starter Cristian Javier (Five-2) gave up a run.

“It is roughly a bitter style in our mouths simply to look the best way that completed off,” Texas supervisor Chris Woodward mentioned. “That doesn’t alternate the best way he pitched for us all 12 months.”

The 10 runs allowed had been a occupation prime for the 33-year-old Lynn, who has any other 12 months left on his Texas contract.

“I’d cherish to do slightly higher, however that occurs,” Lynn mentioned.

Javier struck out six whilst permitting 3 runs over Five 2/Three innings. The suitable-hander walked one, hit a batter and threw 3 wild pitches. He held the Rangers with no run till Willie Calhoun’s two-run homer within the 6th.

“Javier was once outstanding for 5 innings, he ran out of gasoline slightly bit,” Baker mentioned.

Possibly it was once all of the sitting round all the way through the ones large innings for the Astros.

Bregman had an RBI triple and scored within the first to position Houston forward to stick, and Springer’s 14th homer was once a three-run shot on a 445-foot power to straightway heart in the second one. Bregman hit a two-run homer within the 5th, an inning prior to Altuve’s three-run shot. Reddick had a two-run homer within the 9th.

CENTURY MARK

Lynn threw a minimum of 100 pitches in all 13 begins this 12 months, and in 36 in a row since Would possibly 2019. That fits the longest streak ever for a Texas pitcher, and 1/3 third-longest in baseball since pitches had been first tracked in 1988. Justin Verlander had 80 in a row with the Detroit Tigers from 2010-12, whilst Randy Johnson had streaks of 38 and 37 video games.

SHORT HOPS

Texas (19-38), which has misplaced 4 in a row, will end on the backside of the AL West. … Rangers slugger Joey Gallo was once Zero for Four, and has handiest 3 hits in his closing 35 at-bats, losing his batting moderate to .171 — the bottom amongst 144 qualifiers in primary league baseball. … A wild throw by means of catcher Dustin Garneau was once handiest Houston’s 2nd error in 23 video games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: Rookie 3B Sherten Apostel left the sport on account of again spasms after an ungainly diving try to box a ball in the second one inning. “We’re now not rather certain what the level of the harm is, however it clearly didn’t glance just right when he was once strolling off the sector,” Woodward mentioned.

UP NEXT

Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78 ERA), who began the season at the injured record after a good COVID-19 take a look at, begins for the Astros when they are attempting to clinch their playoff spot.

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