Justin Verlander pitched three scoreless innings before departing because of right calf discomfort, and the Astros used five relievers to close out a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday in Houston.
Alex Bregman homered for the AL West leaders, 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 righthander allowed three hits, struck out six and walked one. Verlander allowed consecutive singles to Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman in the first, and then struck out the next three batters. He lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.84 and leads the AL with 16 wins.
Houston manager Dusty Baker said Verlander was going in for imaging Monday, adding Verlander said he felt it when he went to cover first base during a rundown on a double play that ended the top of the third.
“It was his calf, and that’s the best of bad news,” Baker said. “We’re glad it wasn’t anything to do with his elbow or arm or anything like that.”
The 39-year-old left the stadium before the media was allowed into the clubhouse after the game, according to team officials.
“He threw that pitch, and then, he came off the field with the third out, and he just went down the tunnel,” Baker said.
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.
Oakland keeps Yankees in check again
Minor league call-up Adrián Martínez held the Yankees hitless into the fifth inning and host Oakland shut down powerful New York for a second straight game, winning 4-1.
One night after the vaunted Yankees lineup managed one hit in 11 innings against Adam Oller and the Oakland bullpen, New York wasn’t much better against another starter who entered the game with an ERA above 6.00.
Martínez (3-3), called up from Triple-A before the game, allowed two walks and no other baserunners until Aaron Hicks’ single with two outs in the fifth inning for New York’s second hit in an 18-inning span against the last-place A’s. Kyle Higashioka added an RBI single in the fifth for the only run off Martinez, who allowed three hits in 5⅓ innings.
New York managed just one more hit off the Oakland bullpen, with A.J. Puk getting three outs for his fourth save. Aaron Judge, sitting on 49 home runs, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
The win came after the A’s were officially eliminated from the AL West race with Houston’s win over Baltimore. This is the earliest Oakland has ever been eliminated from winning the division.
Max Scherzer, Mets outdueled
Germán Márquez allowed one hit over seven sparkling innings and denied Mets’ ace Max Scherzer his 200th career win as the Colorado Rockies eked out a 1-0 victory in New York to prevent a four-game sweep by the NL East leaders.
Brian Serven’s sacrifice fly off Scherzer in the seventh made a winner of Márquez (7-10), who struck out five and walked two. The righthander threw a seven-inning complete game in his previous start at Citi Field on April 17, 2021.
Scherzer (9-4) gave up four hits and racked up 11 strikeouts over seven innings in his 110th double-digit strikeout game, tying Roger Clemens for third on the career list behind Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. The three-time Cy Young Award winner was trying to join former teammate Verlander (242) and Zack Greinke (223) as the only active pitchers with 200 wins.
Scherzer ended his afternoon by striking out Garrett Hampson with his 112th pitch — his most since throwing 119 for Washington on Sept. 20, 2020. The righthander has a 2.10 ERA in 11 starts since being activated from the injured list on July 5.
The teams combined for just two hits through six innings before the last-place Rockies broke the stalemate. Daniel Bard gave up a one-out single to Pete Alonso in the ninth, but struck out Eduardo Escobar and retired McNeil on a grounder to finish the three-hitter for his 27th save.
Angels’ big two connect, finish off sweep in Toronto
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout each cracked their 28th homers, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Blue Jays, 8-3, to complete a three-game sweep in Toronto.
Ohtani had three hits and scored twice one day after he pitched seven crisp innings; his two-run drive made it 6-1 in the seventh. Trout went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, including his solo shot in the ninth, and also scored twice.
Luis Rengifo and Kurt Suzuki also connected for the Angels, who had lost six straight and nine of 10 before the series. Los Angeles limited Toronto to three runs in three games and twice shut out the Blue Jays, who had won six of seven coming in.
Righthander Ross Stripling (6-4) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Stripling gave up more than two earned runs for the first time since July 3 against Tampa Bay, snapping a six-start unbeaten streak.
Diamondbacks keep White Sox skidding
Jake McCarthy hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks completed a three-game sweep of the struggling Chicago White Sox with a 3-2 victory. Rookie Stone Garrett launched his first major league home run and Sergio Alcántara also went deep for Arizona, which earned its first interleague sweep since 2019. The White Sox, who allowed 17 runs in the first two games of the series, have lost nine of 11 and dropped two games under .500. They heard a smattering of boos as they left the field . . . Robbie Ray (11-8) tossed seven dominant innings, Dylan Moore and Ty France homered, and the host Mariners beat the Guardians, 4-0. Seattle took three of four from Cleveland in a potential postseason preview. The Guardians’ lead in the AL Central was trimmed to two games over Minnesota, which completed a sweep at home against San Francisco . . . Mookie Betts homered for the third straight game, Julio Urías pitched six sparkling innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Miami Marlins, 8-1. Justin Turner and Max Muncy had three hits apiece for the NL West leaders, who are 28-8 since the All-Star break. Urías (14-7) allowed one hit — Brian Anderson’s sixth homer in the fourth — struck out seven and walked four. The lefthander has won 11 of his last 12 decisions . . . Adolis Garcia struck out during a Texas rally that fell short in the ninth inning, ending his 23-game hitting streak as the Detroit Tigers held off the Rangers, 9-8. Garcia’s streak was the longest in the American League this season, but fell one game short of matching the longest hitting string ever by a Cuban-born big leaguer, set by Rafael Palmeiro in 1994 for Baltimore . . . Major league losses leader Patrick Corbin ended Washington’s record 43-game drought without a starting pitcher earning a victory as the Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2. Corbin (5-17) allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings while striking out five. A Washington starting pitcher had not earned a victory since Josiah Gray won at Philadelphia on July 6, shattering the previous big league record of 35 games set by the 1949 Washington Senators . . . Oneil Cruz, Tucupita Marcano, and Bryan Reynolds all tripled and scored, and Roansy Contreras struck out seven over five innings to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-0, and end both their seven-game losing streak and the Phillies’ six-game winning streak. The Pirates became the second team this season to hit three triples in a game.