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

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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 on Friday night. The Astros (95-50) won their sixth straight game to join the Los Angeles 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 innings. He capped his big night with a single in the seventh to tie his career high with four hits.

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