OAKLAND, Calif. - Justin Verlander pitched just well enough to earn his 200th career win and the Houston Astros hit five home runs, beating the Oakland Athletics 9-4 Sunday to avoid a sweep and retake sole possession of the AL West lead.
The surging A's had won the first two games at the Coliseum to tie shaky Houston atop the division. But Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Evan Gattis, Alex Bergman, Marwin Gonzalez and Martin Maldonado later homered for the defending World Series champions. Maldonado also tripled and doubled.
Verlander (12-8) gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings while becoming the 114th pitcher with at least 200 career wins.
Oakland's Sean Manaea (11-9) was charged with six runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.
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