Houston: Martin Maldonado finished a single shy of hitting for the cycle, and the visiting Houston Astros slugged five home runs to salvage the finale of their showdown series with the Oakland Athletics with a 9-4 victory on Sunday.

The Astros moved back ahead of Oakland by one game in the American League West after the Athletics pulled even by claiming the opening two games of the three-game weekend set.

Houston rallied from an early two-run deficit with a four-run third inning. After Oakland pulled even in the bottom of the third, the Astros moved back on top in the fourth. Yuli Gurriel, Evan Gattis, Maldonado, Alex Bregman and Marwin Gonzalez went deep for Houston.

Justin Verlander (12-8) was the beneficiary of the power surge, recording his 200th career victory. Verlander allowed three home runs, two to Khris Davis, and gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings, but the run support he received was ample.