AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Rangers finish off four-game sweep of Astros

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The Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Astros with an 8-2 victory tonight in Arlington. After entering the series down 1 1/2 games to the Astros in the American League West, the Rangers now lead the division by 2 1/2 games. What a turn of events.

The Rangers grabbed an early lead tonight when Mitch Moreland connected for a three-run homer off Lance McCullers in the third inning. The Astros fought back with two runs in the fourth inning, but the Rangers pulled away with two in the seventh and three in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Colby Lewis allowed two runs over six innings in the victory. Shin-Soo Choo, who has been rejuvenated in the second half, went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.

The Rangers outscored the Astros 33-13 during the series. Tonight’s loss capped a nightmare road trip for the Astros, who went 2-8. They’ll head home now for nine games as they try to get back on track. The Astros currently have the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

The Rangers (79-67) have 16 games to play while the Astros (77-70) have 15 games remaining.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”