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Carlos Gómez thinks MLB’s drug testing isn’t random, targets older and Latin players

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Rays outfielder Carlos Gómez said in an interview with journalist Héctor Gómez that he doesn’t believe Major League Baseball’s drug testing is random. ESPN Deportes translated the interview in which Gomez said, “They tell you that it’s random, that they do the tests randomly and those players who go out there, go and do a drug test. Until they prove to me that it is random, I will not believe it. Because for me, it’s not random. They go and choose the person they want. It’s not random. If it’s not that, show it to me.”

Gomez added, “I have the greatest luck on my team, because they test me more than everyone else. I arrived now, three days after coming from the disabled list, and they are already testing me again.”

Gomez, 32, also said on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast last week, on the heels of the Robinson Cano news, that MLB targets older players and Latin players. He says he and teammates Sergio Romo and Denard Span (recently traded to the Mariners) have been drug tested frequently this season. Gomez estimates that he has been tested somewhere between five and seven times this season already.

Brewers first baseman Eric Thames, who is not Latin but might qualify as “older,” was famously drug tested repeatedly after getting off to a hot start last season following his return to the United States from South Korea. Thames, however, didn’t feel like he was being targeted specifically.

This season, Gomez has scuffled to a .194/.260/.348 batting line with six home runs and 12 RBI in 170 plate appearances. He inked a one-year, $4 million deal with the Rays in February.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.