Verlander fans 8 as Astros top Twins; Sano bruises leg
HOUSTON — Backed by a four-run, first-inning uprising, Justin Verlander cruised through seven strong innings, and the host Houston Astros extended their winning streak to four games with a 5-2, series-clinching victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
The Astros secured a winning homestand with their ambush of Minnesota right-hander Trevor May (3-1), who made his first start since Aug. 14, 2015, serving as the “opener” on the mound.
May surrendered five hits and four runs in his lone inning, including an RBI double to Alex Bregman and a two-run homer to Yuli Gurriel, his 10th this season.
Bregman plated George Springer, who opened the frame with a single. Gurriel drove home Tyler White, whose run-scoring single scored Bregman with the second run.
Bregman doubled twice more, including another RBI double in the seventh, to post his third career three-double game.
After retiring the side in order on 11 pitches in the top of the first, Verlander (14-9) loaded the bases with one out in the second. He recovered to induce an infield popup from Ehire Adrianza before punching out Chris Gimenez to preserve his four-run advantage.
Verlander did surrender a run-scoring double to Robbie Grossman with two outs in the third inning. He followed by retiring the final 13 batters he faced. Verlander tossed 102 pitches and allowed three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts, bumping his season total to 248 K’s — the fifth-highest single-season mark in club history.
Twins right-hander Kohl Stewart, a native Houstonian, worked five innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Former Minnesota reliever Ryan Pressly struck out the side in the top of the eighth, his 11th consecutive scoreless outing.
Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano sustained a lower left leg bruise sliding into second base following a wild pitch in the second inning, and he required a cart to leave the field. Sano is day-to-day.