Astros pummel Hamels, Rangers 14-3
Keuchel fans 8 in 6 strong innings

McCann all smiles after HR
(c) Associated Press

The Astros jumped on Cole Hamels for four runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 14-3 trouncing of the Rangers Tuesday night in Arlington. It was the shortest outing of the season for Hamels, who gave up six runs on six hits and four walks in only three innings of work. Arlington's 81st loss of the season officially eliminated them from playoff contention.

Carlos Correa drove in George Springer and Alex Bregman with a double to make it 2-0 before most of the 28,976 in attendance at Globe Life Park could make their way to their seats. The Astros' shortstop would finish the night with three hits and three runs batted in. Bregman also contributed three hits and drove in a pair of runs.

Brian McCann's 2-run bomb to deep rightfield highlighted a 5-run fifth inning for the Astros. Cameron Maybin followed McCann's blast with a triple and raced home to score on a throwing error by our old pal Carlos Gomez. Maybin added to the Rangers' pain with with a 3-run shot in the sixth that widened Houston's lead to 14-1.

Dallas Keuchel made the most of the early run support, tossing six strong innings to secure his 14th win of the year. Keuchel struck out eight Rangers and threw 63 of 102 pitches for strikes.

Will Harris and Francis Martes were perfect in the seventh and eighth innings respectively but Reymin Guduan gave up two runs before closing out the ninth.

The win clinched at least a #2 seed for the Astros in the playoffs, meaning they will have home field advantage in the first round.

Jose Altuve got the night off after being hit on the arm by a pitch the previous evening. Altuve's status for Wednesday afternoon's series finale is unknown, but I would be surprised if the MVP candidate isn't in the starting lineup against Nick Martinez.

- Greg Thurston