KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Wade Miley bounced back from two disastrous starts with six strong innings and Josh Reddick’s five hits included a two-run homer Sunday as the Houston Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 12-3, completing a three-game sweep.
Abraham Toro and Reddick each drove in three runs, Kyle Tucker banged a two-run homer and Yuli Gurriel’s solo shot was his 28th homer.
The Astros’ 98th victory tied them for tops in the majors with the New York Yankees, who lost at Toronto. Both are 98-53.
Houston rebounded after getting swept in three games at home by Oakland and got a welcome outing from Miley (14-5), who was knocked out in the first inning in each of his previous two starts. Last Tuesday, the A’s tagged him for seven runs in what became a 21-7 drubbing.
It was Jakob Junis (9-14) who left early on Sunday, allowing five runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing in 77 career starts.
Gurriel homered to open the second, and the Astros later got RBI singles from Toro and Michael Brantley to make it 3-1.
Reddick pulled a two-run homer down the right-field line off reliever Eric Skoglund in the fifth inning for a 7-1 lead. Tucker went the same direction with his two-run shot off Kyle Zimmer in the eighth.
Miley didn’t make it through the first unscathed. Adalberto Mondesi got an infield hit and raced home on Jorge Soler’s first triple of the season, a gapper to right center. Soler has 44 home runs this year, but this was only his third career triple and his first since he was with the Chicago Cubs in 2015.
Miley allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings.
Manager A.J. Hinch said his team should be plenty motivated to finish with the best record in the majors and earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“We want to win as many games as we can,” Hinch said. “Of course, the home field matters but it’s not an end-all, be-all. There’s a lot that has to happen to get to the finish. It’s important. We’re trying to win every game. Our mentality in (the clubhouse) is really good. We feel like we have the best team in baseball. That can be represented in the record, sometimes it’s not. We don’t control what the Yankees do or what the Dodgers do or what the Braves are doing. We only control what we’re doing.”
The Astros, after an open date Monday, return to Houston on Tuesday night for the first of two games against Texas. The Rangers will match RHP Lance Lynn (14-10, 3.72 ERA) with Justin Verlander (18-6, 2.58). Verlander has held opponents to a .168 average, tied with teammate Gerrit Cole for the majors’ best.
The Royals travel to Oakland to open a three-game series Monday night, sending RHP Glenn Sparkman (4-11, 5.94) against RHP Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.01).