Justin Verlander surrenders HR in first career relief appearance

Justin Verlander
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Nursing a 2-1 lead in both the series and Game 4, the Houston Astros turned to Game 1 starter Justin Verlander, who was pitching in an unfamiliar role.

The appearance did not go well.

The first hitter Verlander faced — Andrew Benintendi — slugged a two-run home run to put the Red Sox on top.

Certainly, the decision of manager A.J. Hinch will be questioned. Going to Verlander is understandable. But conventional logic says that if a starter is going to be used as a reliever, he should start an inning. At least, he should come in with nobody on base. Verlander was brought with one out and one on in the fifth inning.

Verlander did finish the fifth with no further damage.