Hicks led off the ninth with a tiebreaking blast to left-center field off Verlander (15-5), who leads the majors in strikeouts with 239 but ranks second in homers allowed with 33.
The veteran right-hander retired the first 14 batters, with six strikeouts, before Rodriguez homered to the seats in right with two outs in the fifth. Verlander sat down another 10 straight before Hicks connected.
With Verlander on the mound at home against the worst team in the majors, the Astros were more than a 5-1 favorite, one of the biggest favorites in an MLB game that Las Vegas oddsmakers could remember.
Verlander walked none and finished with 11 strikeouts in his 99-pitch gem, extending his franchise record of games with 10 or more strikeouts to seven as he lost for the first time since June 18.
Nicholas Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber also connected for Chicago, which has won four straight despite losing leads twice in the last four innings. The Cubs moved back into first place in the NL Central by a half-game over St. Louis, which lost to Milwaukee in a rain-shortened game.
Castellanos, who went 4 for 5, has homered in three straight games for the second time in his career – he also did it with Detroit in 2016 – and has nine in 19 games since being acquired in a trade before the July 31 deadline. He is batting .392 (31 for 79) with the Cubs.
Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski, Stephen Vogt and Kevin Pillar homered for San Francisco, which has dropped three straight.
Red, white and blue. The colors of USA Basketball.
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) – The New York Islanders agreed to terms with Derick Brassard on a one-year contract.
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