VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Verlander, Astros blank Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Justin Verlander is not prone to sentimentality.

Advertisement

More excited about getting out of a jam than getting his 2,500th strikeout, Verlander put both his flair for the moment and his enduring greatness on full display Wednesday night in a classic masterpiece on the mound.

The right-hander threw a five-hitter for his first shutout in three years and Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer as the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-0.

''Pretty much a clinic on how to pitch,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''I mean, it's just an epic performance by a really good pitcher. It's fun to win a series, especially against a team like this. Even more sweet when one of your best carries you on his back.''

Verlander (5-2) was superb in ending his two-game skid, finishing with seven strikeouts to reach 2,500 for his career. He walked one and lowered his ERA from 1.21 to 1.05.

It was the fourth time this season he's gone at least six innings without giving up a run.

With his supermodel wife, Kate Upton, applauding in the crowd, Verlander threw 118 pitches in his 24th career complete game and first since 2016 with Detroit. Two runners were on when he retired Zack Cozart on an infield popup to polish off his eighth major league shutout and first since 2015 with the Tigers.

Gattis' fourth home run came off hard-luck loser Garrett Richards (4-2) in the second inning after a two-out throwing error by Cozart at third base. Gattis has three home runs in his last five games.

That was enough for Verlander, who did not allow a runner past first base for the first seven innings. Andrelton Simmons singled in the second and Albert Pujols singled in the fourth.

The Angels finally put pressure on the Astros' ace in the eighth. Ian Kinsler got a one-out single and Kole Calhoun hit a ground-rule double, putting two runners in scoring position. But then Verlander threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena and got Mike Trout to ground out softly on a check-swing.

After escaping the jam unscathed, Verlander pumped both arms and then his right fist.

''Here's the game right here. Can you get out the best player in the world? Yeah, I was pretty excited about it,'' Verlander said.

Trout went 0 for 4. Shohei Ohtani was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, going down swinging on three pitches to start the ninth for Verlander's 2,500th strikeout. But it wasn't time to reflect, not for the intensely focused Verlander with Pujols coming up to bat.

''I don't know if 2,500 punches is the one to do that,'' Verlander said. ''I know I'm creeping up on 200 wins, so maybe that's an opportunity to really kind of sit down and think about the gravity of some things, but it's something I'm working on.''

Pujols singled with two outs and Verlander walked Andrelton Simmons before retiring Cozart.

''Verlander, when he smells the end of a game, that's when he really turns it up,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

TOUGH LOSS

Richards was nearly as effective, allowing four hits and one walk in seven innings. He struck out four, and both runs off him were unearned.

It was the second skip of a grounder to Cozart taking a ''terrible hop,'' as Scioscia said, that saddled Richards with the loss. Cozart had to react quickly and backhand it, which resulted in an off-balance throw into the dirt.

''It (stinks) to lose a game on a play like that,'' Cozart said. ''When Gattis hits the home run, that makes it a huge play right away, and we know the guy on the mound is going to be tough to battle against. You can't give good teams extra outs.''

RESPECT

Ohtani did not reach base for the second time in 19 starts as the designated hitter, in part because Verlander was understandably cautious about challenging the Japanese two-way star.

''I threw him a 3-2 slider the first time I faced him,'' Verlander said. ''I don't think I do that to a lot of guys that I've never faced before, but I've seen him take some pretty impressive swings on fastballs on predictable counts.''

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: OF Tony Kemp was recalled from Triple-A Fresno after OF Jake Marisnick was sent down following Tuesday night's game. Kemp went 1 for 3 while playing left field and batting ninth.

Angels: RHP Eduardo Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake, giving the Angels another option in their struggling and overworked bullpen. RHP Jamie Barria, who is 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA in five starts, was sent down in a corresponding move.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (5-0, 2.03 ERA) starts against Cleveland on Friday. Morton has allowed one run or fewer in five of his eight starts.

Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (3-2, 3.07) will pitch the opener of a four-game series against Tampa Bay on Thursday. Skaggs has not won at home this season, going 0-2 with a 5.31 ERA in four starts.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express
written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
· BetDSI: Props - Bryce Harper
· BetDSI: Props - Manny Machado
· Ichiro agrees to minor deal with M's
· Orioles hire Long as pitching coach
· Pomeranz agrees to deal with Giants
· Brewers promote Stearns, Schlesinger
· Next year it's Jeter's chance for HOF
· HOF is becoming a crowded place
· Mo Rivera first unanimous HOF pick
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2018 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 4128
NeiltheGreek + 3240
Kyle Hunter + 2404
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 2377
NeiltheGreek + 1885
Joe Nelson + 1076
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 2951
Bill Marzano + 2448
Matt Fargo + 1769
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 2463
Scott Rickenbach + 1952
NeiltheGreek + 1873
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 1511
Scott Rickenbach + 1487
Ben Burns + 1192
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership