The Houston Astros have been playing great baseball all season long holding on to first place in the AL West that is, until the Oakland A's went on a tear and tied it up. Maybe that was the motivation Houston needed to spur a great outing by Justin Verlander on the mound and some great batting as the Astros beat the A's 9-4 yesterday to move back into the division lead.

Justin Verlander notched his 200th career win and sports a league-leading ERA of 1.74 on the road. He pitched 5 & 1/3 innings striking out 6, walking 1, and gave up 3 runs.

Meanwhile, the Atros bats came alive with 5 homers including a 3-run shot from Yuli Gurriel in the 3rd inning, and solo shots from Evan Gattis, Alex Bregman, Marwin Gonzales and Martin Maldonado.