Verlander exits early, Astros hold on for 3-1 win over O’s


Justin Verlander pitched three scoreless innings before departing because of right calf discomfort, and the Houston Astros used five relievers to close out a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Orioles_Astros_Baseball_19057 Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in Houston.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Orioles_Astros_Baseball_17739 Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, right, and Jeremy Pena hug after a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in Houston. The Astros won 3-1.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Orioles_Astros_Baseball_34463 Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in Houston.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched three scoreless innings before departing because of right calf discomfort, and the Houston Astros used five relievers to close out a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Alex Bregman homered for AL West-leading Houston, and Yuli Gurriel had a two-run single. The Astros dropped the first two games of the weekend set after winning four in a row.

It was the shortest outing of the season for Verlander, one of the front-runners for the AL Cy Young Award. The 39-year-old right-hander allowed three hits, struck out six and walked one.

Houston’s bullpen then allowed one run and four hits over six innings. Ryne Stanek (2-1) tossed a perfect seventh for the win, and Rafael Montero worked a rocky ninth for his ninth save.

Baltimore got on the board on Austin Hays’ RBI single in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Kyle Stowers followed with another base hit, but Montero struck out Rougned Odor to end it.

Gurriel snapped a scoreless tie with his two-run single through the right side in the seventh.

Orioles starter Austin Voth walked Alex Bregman to start the inning, and Kyle Tucker greeted Bryan Baker with a double. Two batters later, Gurriel singled through a drawn-in infield.

Bregman connected in the eighth, sending a drive to left-center for his 20th homer.

Verlander threw 60 pitches, 39 for strikes. He allowed consecutive singles to Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman in the first, and then struck out the next three batters.

Verlander lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.84. He leads the AL with 16 wins.

Verlander had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and missed all of last season.

Voth (4-2) allowed one run and one hit in six-plus innings. Voth has allowed three runs or fewer in every start this season. It was his first loss since June 29.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Tyler Wells (left oblique strain) was expected to throw a simulated game either Sunday or Monday, manager Brandon Hyde said.

Astros: DH Yordan Alvarez was out of the lineup after getting treatment on his left hand, manager Dusty Baker said, adding that he was hopeful Alvarez would be ready on Tuesday. There had been no discussion of a trip to the injured list for Alvarez, Baker said. … OF Chas McCormick (dislocated right pinkie) swung the bat on Sunday, but his finger was still swollen, Baker said.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Following an off day, Baltimore starts a three-game series at the Guardians on Tuesday. RHP Spenser Watkins (4-4, 3.96 ERA) is slated to start for the Orioles opposite RHP Cal Quantrill (10-5, 3.59 ERA).

Astros: Following an off day, Houston opens a two-game series at the Rangers on Tuesday. The Astros have yet to announce their starter for Tuesday.

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