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Spring training roundup: Justin Verlander returns for Astros

Sportsnaut
Mar 18, 2022; Jupiter, Florida, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during spring training at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander, back on a major league mound for the first time in two years, threw two scoreless, hitless innings for the Houston Astros on Friday in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Sarasota, Fla.

Verlander struck out two and walked one as he begins his return from Tommy John surgery.

Nolan Arenado hit a two-run single and Andrew Knizner added a two-run homer for the Cardinals.

Red Sox 7, Rays 6

Christian Koss hit two solo homers, including a walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth inning, as Boston beat Tampa Bay in Fort Myers, Fla. The Red Sox’s Bobby Dalbec and the Rays’ Ford Proctor hit three-run homers.

Blue Jays 9, Orioles 5

Adrian Hernandez struck out three in 2 1/3 scoreless innings as Toronto topped Baltimore in Sarasota, Fla. Richie Martin hit a three-run double for the Orioles.

Phillies 6, Tigers 6

Detroit got solo homers from Akil Baddoo, Riley Greene and Kody Clemens while Philadelphia received two-run blasts from Darick Hall and Matt Kroon in a tie at Lakeland, Fla. Phillies starter Michael Kelly tossed two scoreless innings.

Braves 3, Twins 1

Atlanta’s Bryce Elder (three innings), Darius Vines (three innings) and Victor Vodnik (two innings) took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of a win over Minnesota at North Port, Fla. Tim Beckham’s leadoff single off Jasseel De La Cruz in the ninth ended the no-hit bid.

Pirates 4, Yankees 3

Cole Tucker and Greg Allen homered for Pittsburgh in a victory over New York at Bradenton, Fla. Rodolfo Duran hit a solo shot for the Yankees.

Guardians 3, Reds 2

Gabriel Arias’ seventh-inning single broke a tie and lifted Cleveland past Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz., allowing the Guardians to prevail in their first game with their new nickname. The Reds’ Nick Senzel hit a two-run double.

A’s 10, Angels 8

Christian Bethancourt hit a pair of RBI singles as Oakland outslugged Los Angeles at Mesa, Ariz. The Angels’ Jo Adell had a two-run homer and a run-scoring single.

Royals 5, Rangers 5

Corey Seager socked a three-run homer in his Texas debut as the Rangers played to a tie against Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz. The Rangers’ Nathaniel Lowe also homered, while Adalberto Mondesi and Nick Pratto went deep for the Royals.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 3

Andy Burns’ solo homer in the bottom of the ninth lifted Los Angeles to a tie with Milwaukee in Phoenix. Jason Martin’s solo blast in the sixth inning had given the Brewers a 3-2 lead.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 3

Zach Neal threw three innings of one-run ball and struck out three, helping Colorado beat Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz. Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson yielded one run in four innings.

Padres 6, Mariners 4

A three-run homer from Jorge Alfaro and a solo homer from Nomar Mazara led San Diego past Seattle at Peoria, Ariz. The Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez hit a three-run homer.

Marlins 8, Nationals 3

Sandy Alcantara tossed three perfect innings, striking out one, as Miami topped Washington in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Marlins got homers from Lorenzo Quintana and Jazz Chisholm.

Cubs 7, Giants 3

Marcus Stroman and Mark Leiter Jr. each fired two no-hit innings as Chicago beat San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz. A four-run third inning was all the offense the Cubs needed.

–Field Level Media