Angels send slumping White Sox to fifth straight loss

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Jered Weaver picked up his 19th win of the season Sunday as the Angels completed a three-game sweep of the reeling White Sox.

Weaver allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings in the 4-1 victory. The game was scoreless until the sixth, when Albert Pujols delivered a two-run double and Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer to give the Angels all of the runs they’d need. The White Sox came back with one in the seventh, but they could do no additional damage.

The White Sox have now lost five in a row, but they’re still ahead of the Tigers at the moment after Detroit lost the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Twins. The Tigers could move back into a tie for first place in the AL Central by winning the nightcap.

The Angels are 2 1/2 games back of the A’s for the second wild card. They get Monday off before finishing with three games at home against the Mariners and then road series in Texas and Seattle. Oakland has the same opponents. The A’s have four games in Texas beginning Monday and then three games at home against both the Mariners and Rangers.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.