Carlos Correa triggered a seven-run fourth inning with a three-run homer, replacement starter Luis Garcia took a shutout into the sixth, and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 12-1 on Thursday night.
The AL West-leading Astros stayed seven games in front of Oakland with 16 games remaining. They took three of four in their final series with the last-place Rangers.
Houston is headed home for three against Arizona, which has the worst record in the National League.
Alex Bregman had the first of his pair of two-run singles during Houston's big fourth. Yordan Alvarez lined an RBI double over leaping right fielder DJ Peters, and Yuli Gurriel's second single of the inning scored Bregman. Chas McCormick's 12th homer was a two-run shot in the eighth.
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Garcia (11-7) started after left-hander Framber Valdez was scratched because of a cut on the index finger of his pitching hand. The injury happened when Valdez put his hand on the outfield wall during batting practice Wednesday at the year-old home of the Rangers.
Still considered a rookie in the 26th start of his second season, the 24-year-old Garcia allowed a run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. The run scored on a groundout from Willie Calhoun, the first batter to face reliever Yimi García.
Texas rookie Glenn Otto, who pitched five scoreless innings against his hometown team in his major league debut last month, added three more before the 25-year-old right-hander allowed nine of 10 Houston batters to reach in the fourth and was replaced.
Correa's 23rd homer - and first surrendered by Otto in the majors - followed a leadoff single by Gurriel and Kyle Tucker's double. Otto struck out Jose Siri before walking the bases loaded for Bregman, who singled to left. Alvarez and Gurriel added their run-scoring hits before Tucker grounded into a double play.
Otto (0-2) allowed seven hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings, pushing his ERA to 9.37 despite the former Rice pitcher's impressive debut against the Astros.