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MLB roundup: Justin Verlander throws 8 shutout innings

Sportsnaut
Apr 16, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander pitched eight scoreless innings as the Houston Astros defeated the host Seattle Mariners 4-0 Saturday.

Martin Maldonado got his first hit of the season, a two-run homer, and Jeremy Pena went 3-for-3 with a double and triple, scored twice and drove in a run as the Astros evened the series at a game apiece.

Verlander (1-1), a 39-year-old right-hander who missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery, allowed three hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

Astros reliever Hector Neris pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to wrap up the victory.

Ty France had two hits for the Mariners, who were baffled after winning their home opener against Houston 11-1 Friday night.

Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen put together a quality start, but it went for naught. Flexen (0-2) completed six innings and allowed three runs on five hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.

Braves 5, Padres 2

Right-hander Ian Anderson held San Diego to a run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings and was supported by three solo homers as visiting Atlanta scored a win.

Ozzie Albies homered on the game’s second pitch off Padres starter and loser Nick Martinez. Albies has homered in each of the first three games of the series. Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna added solo homers in the fifth off Martinez (0-1).

San Diego’s lone runs came on solo home runs by Jurickson Profar in the second and Trent Grisham in the eighth.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2

Sergio Alcantara hit a two-run homer and Ketel Marte added an RBI double in a three-run seventh inning as visiting Arizona ended an 11-game road losing streak to New York.

The Diamondbacks won in New York for the first time since getting a 3-2 victory on Aug. 24, 2017 — and they rebounded nicely from Friday’s 10-3 loss. Seth Beer had three singles and reached four times for Arizona.

Starling Marte hit a two-run homer for the Mets, who commemorated former manager Gil Hodges’ upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame. Hodges managed the Mets to their first World Series title in 1969.

White Sox 3, Rays 2

Yasmani Grandal exploited an infield shift in the sixth inning to lead host Chicago to a victory against Tampa Bay.

Grandal hit a ground ball through the vacant shortstop hole to score Luis Robert with the go-ahead run.

That led to the Rays losing their fourth game in a row and their fifth in the last six games. The Rays also suffered a 3-2 loss to the White Sox on Friday night. They’ll conclude the three-game series Sunday before moving across town to face the Cubs in a three-game series that begins Monday.

Athletics 7, Blue Jays 5

Cristian Pache hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning and visiting Oakland defeated Toronto.

Pache’s first home run of the season followed a one-out single by Christian Bethancourt against Julian Merryweather (0-2).

Lou Trivino pitched around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth with three strikeouts for his second save of the season. Former Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman hit a two-run blast for Toronto. Zack Collins added a solo shot.

Red Sox 4, Twins 0

Alex Verdugo and Xander Bogaerts hit two-run home runs, and Tanner Houck pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings to lead Boston over visiting Minnesota.

Boston got a much-needed strong start from Houck after Nick Pivetta lasted just two innings on Friday. Houck threw 89 pitches, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out four. Six different players recorded hits for the Red Sox, who have won three of their last four games and pitched their first shutout of the season.

Twins starter Sonny Gray left the game in the second inning with right hamstring tightness. He appeared to slip after throwing a pitch and was then visited by a trainer and Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. Gray, who was later labeled as day-to-day, threw just 31 pitches in 1 2/3 frames and was replaced by Josh Winder.

Royals 3, Tigers 1

Hunter Dozier’s two-run home run helped host Kansas City defeat Detroit and snap a five-game losing streak.

The Royals snapped the Tigers’ two-game winning streak in the process. It was the 17 time in the last 22 games between the teams that a game was decided by two runs or fewer.

Collin Snider (2-0) was the winning pitcher. Will Vest (0-1) took the loss. Josh Staumont earned the Royals’ first save of the season. Royals starter Kris Bubic allowed one run on two hits but had to leave after 4 1/3 innings because of six walks (89 pitches). Detroit starter Matt Manning allowed one run on five hits in two innings, but he left with right shoulder discomfort.

Phillies 10, Marlins 3

Bryce Harper stole home and slugged a two-run double, leading Philadelphia past host Miami.

Ranger Suarez (1-0) earned the win, allowing six hits, three walks and two runs in five innings. His ERA decreased from 10.13 to 5.87.

Jorge Soler (two-run homer) and Avisail Garcia (solo blast) led Miami’s offense. It was the first homer as a member of the Marlins for both players. Trevor Rogers (0-2) took the loss, allowing four hits, four walks and seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. It was the shortest outing of his 34 career starts.

Cardinals 2, Brewers 1

Steven Matz took a shutout into the sixth inning to outduel Adrian Houser, and St. Louis held on to beat host Milwaukee for his first victory in a Cardinals uniform.

The Cardinals capitalized on two walks for a run off Houser in the fourth on a Paul DeJong double and added a run against the bullpen in the eighth on an RBI single by Corey Dickerson. Matz (1-1) allowed three hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings. Giovanny Gallegos got the final four outs for his second save.

Victor Caratini, acquired from San Diego on April 6, brought Milwaukee within 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth with his first homer. Houser (0-2) allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking three. Last season, Houser was 3-0 in four starts against St. Louis.

Pirates 6, Nationals 4

Michael Chavis had three hits and drove in a run and Andrew Knapp had two RBIs as Pittsburgh beat visiting Washington.

Pittsburgh scored three runs in the eighth to move ahead 6-2 before Washington mounted a rally in the ninth against Chris Stratton. The Nationals scored twice and had a runner on before Maikel Franco flied out to end the game.

Pittsburgh has won four of its last six games. Bryse Wilson pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings.Nationals starter Josh Rogers yielded three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings.

Giants 4, Guardians 2

San Francisco pushed across two runs in the eighth inning to defeat host Cleveland.

Wilmer Flores smashed a ball up the middle with one out and the bases loaded. Second baseman Ernie Clement fielded the sharp grounder and tossed it to Amed Rosario for the second out. Rosario was forced to double clutch on his throw to first when Owen Miller was late getting to the bag.

Brandon Belt scored on the fielder’s choice when the Guardians failed to turn the double play. Austin Slater scored on a wild pitch by losing pitcher Nick Sandlin (0-1, 8.31 ERA), leaving the score 4-2.

Rockies 9, Cubs 6

C.J. Cron hit two home runs, Charlie Blackmon, Connor Joe and Alan Trejo had two hits each, and Colorado beat Chicago in Denver.

Antonio Senzatela (1-0) allowed one run on seven hits in five innings, and Daniel Bard picked up his fourth save. Jonathan Villar had four hits, Patrick Wisdom had three hits and Seiya Suzuki and Jayson Heyward had two hits apiece for Chicago.

Cubs starter Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1) allowed seven runs on five hits and walked four in his first game since 2018. He struck out four.

Yankees 5, Orioles 2

Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with two outs in the fifth inning following a rain delay and visiting New York rallied for a victory over Baltimore.

The Yankees put together a four-run fifth following a 49-minute delay. Donaldson, who grounded out with the bases loaded to end the third, hit his first homer with the Yankees when he drove a 1-0 cutter from Travis Lakins Sr. (0-1) into the second row of the center field seats for a 4-2 lead.

The Orioles were held to three runs or less for the seventh time in eight games to start the season.

Angels 7, Rangers 2

Shohei Ohtani homered, singled, scored three runs and drove in three to lead visiting Los Angeles to a victory over Texas.

Ohtani, who hit 46 home runs last year, hit his first two homers of the season Friday night and followed it up with a two-run blast in the eighth inning Saturday that gave the Angels’ bullpen a cushion.

Angels right fielder Taylor Ward, after missing the first week of the season because of a strained groin, had two hits, including a home run, in his first game of the season. Max Stassi drove in two runs, and Tyler Wade and Jared Walsh each had two hits for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last five games.

Dodgers 5, Reds 2

Trea Turner had three hits, including a two-run home run in a four-run sixth inning, as host Los Angeles spoiled the homecoming of Cincinnati right-hander Hunter Greene with a victory.

Greene, who attended Notre Dame High School in nearby Sherman Oaks, threw 39 pitches at 100 mph or better in his second-career start. It was the most ever in the pitch-track era (2008) and six better than the previous record set by the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom in June of last season.

Greene, the No. 2 overall draft pick by the Reds in 2018, also threw 13 pitches of at least 101 mph, another pitch-track record. The 22-year-old held the Dodgers scoreless until the sixth inning when he started to lose some zip on his fastball. Austin Barnes opened the bottom of the inning with a single and Turner blasted a fastball just shy of 99 mph into the seats in left field.

–Field Level Media