Alvarez has 3 HRs, Astros down A’s to clinch playoff berth

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Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez celebrates after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


HOUSTON (AP) — Yordan Alvarez homered in his first three at-bats, Justin Verlander threw five hitless innings in his return from the injured list and the Houston Astros clinched a postseason berth with a 5-0 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The Astros (won their sixth straight game to join the Dodgers as the first two teams to secure playoff spots, reaching their sixth straight postseason.

Alvarez, second in the AL with 36 home runs, had solo shots off Adrián Martínez in the first, third and fifth. He capped his big night with a single to tie his career high with four hits.