HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander left intact after six innings against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
“I like to play deep into the regular season, but I’d rather do it in the playoffs, or at least stay fresh and strong for it,” the Houston ace said.
Verlander posted his 16th major league-leading win and the Astros beat Minnesota on Tuesday night in Carlos Correa’s return to Houston.
Verlander (16-3) allowed only one runner to reach base — Nick Gordon struck out on a wild field in the second inning. Verlander lowered his MLB-best ERA to 1.87 after missing nearly two seasons following Tommy John surgery.
Manager Dusty Baker said Verlander’s pitching limit was 90 on Tuesday as the Astros moved from a six-man rotation to a five-man rotation. But he still asked Verlander if he wanted to move on because he didn’t hit the ball.
“After six innings … 91 itch, you know it’s not going to be one of those nights,” Verlander said. “Maybe 15 years ago, 10 years ago when I liked throwing 130 bucks. But not now, especially after my first season back with Tommy John.”
The Verlander, 39, was pulled off after 91 pitches. He’s the only active player to throw 3 off the ball. HITTER — He had a no-hitter in the eighth inning against the Twins at Target Field in May.
Ryne Stanek breathed a sigh of relief at the start of the seventh inning as Correa led with Minnesota’s first hit.
“I didn’t want to have no hits in Game 1, so I had to put that in there,” Correa said.
Alex Bregman’s homer puts AL West’s leading Astros to a 4-0 lead. The Twins scored twice in the ninth and finished the bases before Brian Abreu struck out Jack Cave to end the game.
The Twins lost their fourth straight game on a night of struggle on the plate after them. All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton is on the injured list with a hip strain. Until their final rally, the loudest noise Minnesota made came when manager Rocco Baldley was ejected in a heated altercation.
Correa, who made his first visit to Houston after leaving the Astros to sign with the Twins in the offseason, was greeted with applause when he received his AL championship ring in a pregame ceremony . The crowd also reacted strongly on his first bat in the first inning, with the star shortstop tipping his batting helmet to adoring fans before entering the box.
He was warm when he broke the Astros’ no-hit combo bid as he was lined in midfield by a diving Mauricio Dubón who couldn’t round up of. It was the only success for Correa, who was first drafted by the Astros in 2012 and spent his first seven seasons in Houston.
Jose Miranda hits an RBI single in the twins’ ninth. There were two outs when Max Kepler’s score sheet cut the lead to 4-2 and chased Hector Neris. He was replaced by Abreu, who walked Gio Urshela to base but saved Cave in the second inning.
Dubón put Houston ahead with an RBI single in the second inning and Trey Mancini made it 2-0 as he scored in double figures in the fourth quarter. Bregman’s 18th homer of the season was a 2-pointer in the seventh inning.
Jordan Alvarez added a single for the Astros on a night his family from Cuba first saw him play professionally. Father Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, mother Mailyn Cadogan Reyes and brother Yonder Alvarez Cadogan – all in their jerseys – watched him walk to the plate, eyes wide on the pitch.
“It was one of the most important moments of my life,” his father told The Associated Press in Spanish through a translator. “I can say a lot, but the truth is, there are no words to express how I feel right now.”
Alvarez was moved to know how special it was for his parents to be away from them Finally seeing him play after so long.
“It means everything,” he said in Spanish through a translator. “Obviously it wasn’t easy when I came to America. When I got here, I got here myself. I know I have their support, but obviously they’re not here.”
Things got cranky in Game 5 when the Twins started Aaron Sanchez (0-1) knocking out Jose Altuve in the left thigh. There was some altercation between Artuf and Sanchez, the bench was cleared, but there was no shove or shove.
Order was quickly restored, but after Yuri Gurier had walked four pitches, Baldley came out of the dugout and yelled at the referee. He was quickly ejected by first base umpire Todd Tichenor, but that didn’t stop him screaming and gesturing frantically for a few minutes before leaving the field.
Bardelli said he was frustrated because he believed he was accused of visiting the mound when he tried to calm Sanchez without being properly informed.
“At least I think it might be necessary for someone to wrap up and let us know that a visit has been made,” he said. “That’s it. I disagree, I disagree on multiple levels.”
Tichenor said Baldelli should have known he had been accused of visiting.
“Visiting the mound constitutes the manager talking to the pitcher at the top of the mound, it’s the visit. Or the coach,” Ticheno said. “That was a visit.”
Sanchez, who started the Astros’ combined no-hitter in 2019 against Seattle, had six hits and two hits after being called up from Triple-A on Tuesday. more than four innings.
TWINS: Kyle Garlick (injured rib) is scheduled to begin rehab Wednesday at Triple-A Sao Paulo assignment. He will be the team’s designated hitter on Wednesday and then play in the outfield on Thursday.
Verlander’s big night saw him pass Pedro Martinez (3,154) and Max Scherzer (3,157) and 13th on the all-time strikeout list with 3,161.
Mayah Zamora, who spent 66 days in hospital Victim of Uvalde Elementary School shooting, throws ceremonial first pitch . Zamora met Correa before the game, and his foundation, along with several other charities, was looking for alternative housing for her family while building a new home for them.
The Foundation set out to find Zamora, who lived a few blocks from her home after learning of the gunman who wounded her and killed 19 students and 2 teachers. She left the hospital because she was too upset to return.
Houston’s Fomber Valdez (12-4, 2.72) vs Dylan Bundy (7) as the series continues on Wednesday night -5, 4.60) opposition.
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