Maldonado’s 3 RBIs lead Astros over A’s 8-4 and into 1st

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Houston Astros pitcher Andre Scrubb (70) celebrates with second baseman Jose Altuve after the Astros defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-4 in a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By BEN ROSS

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Martín Maldonado homered and drove in three runs, helping the Houston Astros beat the Oakland 8-4  to move ahead of the Athletics for the AL West lead. Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel also had run-scoring hits for the Astros in the rubber match of a three-game series.  Houston is 21-9 against division opponents, including 7-3 against Oakland, and at 26-18 has sole possession of the division lead for the first time since before play on April 9. Mark Canha, Tony Kemp and Seth Brown homered for the A’s. Luis Garcia won his second straight start.