Astros break out in blowout over Rangers

Alex Bregman finished a single shy of the cycle and the Houston Astros broke free of their recent offensive doldrums by bashing four home runs in their 12-4 victory over the host Texas Rangers on Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.Bregman finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. He delivered a run-scoring triple in the first inning, a two-run home run in the fifth and a double in the sixth. His fifth home run of the season, a 404-foot shot to left, drove in Michael Brantley and extended the Houston (29-28) lead to 7-0.The Astros reduced their magic number to clinch a postseason berth to one game. Houston will clinch second place in the American League West with one more win against Texas or a loss by the Los Angeles Angels, who will face the division champion Oakland Athletics this weekend.Houston wasted little time initiating its attack against Rangers ace right-hander Lance Lynn (6-3), snagging a 2-0 lead in the opening frame when Bregman, who drove in Jose Altuve with his RBI triple, scored on a fielding error by Rangers center fielder Leody Taveras on a ball struck by Kyle Tucker.The Astros extended their advantage to 5-0 in the second when George Springer crushed his 14th home run to straightaway center field, a 445-foot blast that plated Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick. Bregman produced the second home run off Lynn before Altuve added a third in the sixth inning with a 386-foot shot to left-center field that drove home Reddick and Springer, making it 10-0.Reddick added a two-run homer, his fourth, off Texas right-hander Rafael Montero in the ninth. Houston scored at least 10 runs for the first time since an 11-4 win over the Angels on Aug. 24.