HOUSTON — The Astros pummeled former AL West rival Yu Darvish like a punching bag, with five consecutive hits in the second inning leading to four runs and the shortest outing of Darvish’s major league career.

and five different Astros batters ended up driving in a run in an 11-hit attack to improve Houston’s record to a perfect 7-0 at home this postseason.

Lance McCullers tossed five solid innings before tiring in the sixth, using his outstanding curve ball to great effect. He only had three strikeouts, but they were all against Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger.

Brad Peacock came on in the sixth and allowed a pair of inherited runners to score, but was otherwise outstanding. He blanked the Dodgers for the final 3 2/3 innings to close out the win.

Photos: Astros dominate Dodgers in 5-3 Game 3 win


Game 3 pivot point: Down 4-0 in the third inning, the Dodgers threatened to get back in the game when they loaded the bases on three consecutive walks by McCullers and had the tying run at the plate in shortstop Corey Seager.

McCullers dropped a 1-1 curve ball into the bottom of the strike zone and Seager grounded it sharply toward the right side. Gurriel made a diving stop and scrambled to his feet to throw to second as McCullers broke to cover first.

Shortstop Carlos Correa made the turn and threw just in time to beat Seager for a 3-6-1 double play. Although one run scored, McCullers got out of the jam when he induced a groundout by Justin Turner to short to preserve a 4-1 lead.

Photos: Astros fans pack Minute Maid for Game 3


Man of the moment: Gurriel played key roles on both offense and defense. Hitting a leadoff homer to spark the Astros early rally. He nearly had a second homer in the seventh inning, but his high fly down the left field line hit off the wall, forcing him to settle for a double.

He also made the defensive play of the night to start the 1-6-3 double play that thwarted the Dodgers best chance to get back into the game.

And in a not-so-flattering moment, Gurriel was caught on the television broadcast making a mocking slant-eye gesture after his homer off Darvish.

Photos: Game 3 a real treat for Astros fans