ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Carlos Gomez hit a towering three-run homer in the eighth inning and the AL-leading Texas Rangers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 on Wednesday night for their MLB-best 49th come-from-behind victory.
Texas (94-65) moved closer to home-field advantage with a 1 1/2-game lead over Boston for the best record in the American League after the Red Sox lost earlier Wednesday.
Jonathan Lucroy, the catcher traded from Milwaukee to Texas on Aug. 1, reached to start the eighth on a two-base error when the ball ricocheted off the glove of center fielder Hernan Perez. Delino DeShields came on as a pinch-runner, and after Mitch Moreland walked, he scored the tying run when Elvis Andrus greeted reliever Tyler Thornburg with a single to center.
Gomez then hit a 418-foot homer to left, his 13th this season. It was the eighth in 31 games for the former two-time All-Star with the Brewers since joining the Rangers last month after being released by Houston. He had a three-run homer on Tuesday night, that one traveling 444 feet.
Rougned Odor also homered for the Rangers, his 32nd a two-run shot in the first that snapped an 0-for-22 slide and put Texas up 3-2.
The Red Sox clinched the AL East title even after blowing a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning and losing 5-3 to the New York Yankees when former Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira hit a game-ending grand slam.
Jeremy Jeffress (1-0) worked the final two innings, winning for AL West champion Texas five days after being reinstated by Major League Baseball from the restricted list following a drunken driving arrest last month and then a three-week stint in an inpatient rehab clinic.
Cole Hamels, the All-Star lefty expected to start the Rangers' playoff opener Oct. 6, allowed five runs (three earned) over seven innings with six strikeouts and no walks. He went over 200 innings and 200 strikeouts for the season.
But second baseman Jonathan Villar hit Hamels' first pitch of the game into the stands for his 19th homer, and the Brewers scored in each of the first three innings to build a 5-3 lead.
Corey Knebel (1-4) was the Brewers' fourth pitcher when he started the eighth and was responsible for two unearned runs.
Hamels has thrown 202 2/3 innings, exceeding 200 innings pitched in the regular season for the eighth time in his career, and the seventh year in a row — which will be the longest active streak in the majors since Chicago White Sox right-hander James Shields (nine) and Seattle's Felix Hernandez (eight) will not extend their streaks this season. Hamels has exactly 200 strikeouts, his fifth 200-strikeout season.
Rangers: Shin-Soo Choo (fractured left forearm) will return to Texas on Thursday and could play this weekend to determine if he's ready for the playoffs. He played seven innings in right field and made six plate appearances in an instructional league game Wednesday, his third day in a row playing in Arizona. He was 2 for 5 with a two-run homer and a walk.
Brewers: Lefty Brent Suter, a Harvard graduate, starts Friday in the series opener at California. Since allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings in an emergency start Aug. 19, Suter has pitched 12 1/3 scoreless innings over 12 relief appearances.
Rangers: After Texas' final day off of the regular season, Yu Darvish (6-5) makes his final start before the playoffs Friday in the opener of a three-game weekend series against Tampa Bay.