Verlander strikes out 12, Astros beat Rangers 4-3
HOUSTON (AP) - Justin Verlander struck out 12 in six solid innings, four Houston players hit solo home runs and the Astros held on to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Friday night.
Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez led off the third inning with consecutive home runs to extend Houston's lead to 4-0. Altuve hit his homer to left-center field, and Bregman sent his to left on the next pitch before Alvarez hit a 474-foot monster shot into the second deck in right field.
It was the first time the Astros had hit three straight homers since June, 20, 2018, against Tampa Bay.
Yuli Gurriel led off the second with a solo shot to left.
Verlander (12-4) allowed two runs and eight hits. The right-hander struck out at least 11 for the fourth time this season.
Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 21st save.
Rougned Odor and Asdrúbal Cabrera hit consecutive solo home runs in the sixth for Texas to cut Houston's lead to 4-2, and Shin-Soo Choo scored on Elvis Andrus' groundout in the seventh to pull within one.
The Rangers have lost five straight. Texas stranded 11 runners and were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Mike Minor (8-5) allowed four runs and seven hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. Minor, who tied a career-high allowing four home runs, retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced.
The Rangers moved RHP Jesse Chavez from the rotation to the bullpen and called up LHP Joe Palumbo from Triple-A Nashville to start Monday's game in Seattle. Chavez (3-5, 4.72) was pulled in the first inning of his last start on Wednesday after giving up seven runs in 2/3 innings. In three appearances earlier this season, including two starts, Palumbo allowed 11 runs in nine innings.
Rangers: RHP Edinson Volquez (right elbow sprain) is scheduled to throw a bullpen in Arizona on Saturday. ... RHP Kyle Dowdy (right elbow impingement) allowed two runs on four hits in 2/3 innings in a relief outing Thursday as part of his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Nashville.
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (shoulder discomfort) might be able to start playing catch this weekend, manager A.J. Hinch said. Peacock was set to come off the injured list, but suffered a setback after throwing a bullpen session on Saturday. He has been out since late June. ... INF Aledmys Díaz (hamstring) continued his rehabilitation assignment Friday night at Double-A Corpus Christi, while SS Carlos Correa (ribs) had the day off.
RHP Ariel Jurado (5-5, 4.63 ERA) is scheduled to make his 21st appearance and 11th start of the season for the Rangers on Saturday. Jurado has allowed 11 runs over two innings in two July starts. Houston has not announced a starter.
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