Justin Verlander strikes out 12, Astros top Mariners 4-1
HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander struck out a season-high 12 in seven sparkling innings, Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run homer and the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Astros 4, Mariners 1: Box score
There was no trouble between the teams one night after beanballs led to a bench-clearing scuffle. Houston bench coach Joe Espada filled in for manager Dusty Baker, who served a one-game suspension after he and reliever Héctor Neris were ejected from Monday’s game.
Baker was also fined an undisclosed amount.
Verlander (7-2) yielded one run on six hits and improved to 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA in four starts against the Mariners this season.
The right-hander now has 3,086 career strikeouts, moving past Max Scherzer (3,079) and John Smoltz (3,084) for 17th place. The win was the 233rd of Verlander’s career, tying Charlie Buffinton for 62nd all-time.
Rafael Montero walked the bases loaded with one out in the eighth but induced an inning-ending double play from Abraham Toro.
Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Alvarez hit his 17th home run in the eighth, just getting it over the right field fence and the outstretched glove of Taylor Trammell to extend Houston’s lead to three.
They challenged just to Sea it again. pic.twitter.com/aUTAcmWKGJ
— Houston Astros (@astros) June 8, 2022
After Toro gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI groundout, the Astros responded with RBI singles from Kyle Tucker and Jeremy Peña in the bottom half.
Chris Flexen (2-7) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. Flexen, who dropped to 1-3 against Houston this season, has permitted three runs or fewer in each of his four starts versus the Astros.
Mariners: 1B Evan White (sports hernia) was pulled off his rehabilitation assignment after reaggravating his groin or hip issue that was causing the discomfort, manager Scott Servais said. … OF Kyle Lewis (concussion) has begun doing cardiovascular activities, but has not started doing baseball activities yet, Servais said.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (right forearm strain) threw a 25-pitch bullpen. … RHP Jake Odorizzi (lower left leg) threw a bullpen as well and is expected to do some field work on Wednesday, Baker said. … LHP Blake Taylor has left elbow inflammation, general manager James Click said. Baker would not give a timetable for when Taylor could return, but said it would be “a while.” … LHP Parker Mushinski was placed on the 15-day injured list with left elbow discomfort. The Astros recalled RHP Brandon Bielak from Triple-A Sugar Land.
Neris was suspended four games by MLB after he hit one batter and nearly drilled another in the head Monday. Neris was also fined an undisclosed amount, but he appealed the suspension and was available Tuesday.
Houston RHP José Urquidy (5-2, 4.76 ERA) will start the series finale Wednesday opposite RHP Logan Gilbert (5-2, 2.22).