Verlander has season-best 12 Ks in 5-1 win over White Sox

HOUSTON (AP) As Houston's Justin Verlander flirted with a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox, he took a moment to scan the seats behind home plate to see whether childhood idol Nolan Ryan, who threw a record seven no-hitters, was watching from his usual seat behind the plate.

After throwing two no-hitters in his career, Verlander thought to himself that it would be ''pretty cool'' if Ryan was there to see it if he joined him in the exclusive group of players who have tossed at least three.

Ryan was at the game, but it wasn't to be.

''I screwed it up,'' Verlander said with a laugh.

Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out a season-high 12 to lead the Astros to a 5-1 win over the White Sox.

Verlander (8-1), who said his slider was his best pitch Tuesday night, was in control from the first pitch, allowing one hit and walking one in eight innings for his fourth straight win and the seventh in eight starts. The only hit off him came when Jose Abreu sent the first pitch of his at-bat just over the wall and out of reach of a leaping Jake Marisnick in straightaway center field with one out in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-1.

''My thought was if Jake catches this, it's over. I'm going to get it,'' Verlander said. ''Sure enough it went over. He had a great effort at it (but) I was pretty confident that that ball was going to be a home run unless a miracle happened.''

It was Abreu's sixth career off of Verlander.

''We all know the kind of pitcher that he is,'' Abreu said in Spanish through a translator. ''He has all of my respect. He's one of the best. In that at-bat I just went in there trying to make hard contact if possible. I am happy that I was able to do it.''

Yuli Gurriel hit a solo homer off Dylan Covey (0-3) in the fourth inning to give the Astros home runs in 18 straight games, tying the second-longest streak in franchise history.

Verlander, who threw no-hitters in 2007 and 2011, retired his first five batters with three strikeouts before walking Yonder Alonso with two outs in the second. But he got right back on track, sitting down Tim Anderson to end the inning.

He needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side in the third inning and fanned two in the fourth. He struck out one in the fifth and one more in the sixth after a long layoff after the Astros sent eight hitters to the plate in the bottom of their four-run fifth.

Yoan Moncada struck out to start the seventh before Abreu's homer. Verlander received a hearty ovation after ending his night with a perfect eighth before Hector Rondon took over for the ninth and finished the one-hitter.

''He was all over the strike zone, wherever he wanted to go he could go,'' manager AJ Hinch said. ''Everything from swing-and-miss to getting into counts and really one pitch the entire night where he yanked down to Abreu and Abreu hit a ball out of the ball park. An incredible night for a guy who's fun to watch pitch.''

Houston, a big league-best 33-16, won for the 12th time in 13 games overall and ninth in a row over the White Sox.

Tuesday's performance was the latest in a string of dominant starts for the 36-year-old Verlander. He's allowed just two runs and four hits while striking out 29 combined in his last three starts spanning 22 innings.

Hinch was asked where his recent work ranks in his time in Houston. Verlander is in his second full season with the Astros after a trade from Detroit late in the 2017 season.

''He's been really good so I don't know if I can put it all together in a three-outing run but I'm just glad he's ours,'' Hinch said. ''I'm glad every five days we've got him out there pitching at an elite level. When that happens we know we can win. Where that fits in with his Astro tenure so far, I have no idea.''

Covey allowed four hits, walked four and allowed four runs in four-plus innings.

Houston loaded the bases on three straight walks with no outs in the fifth, and Tony Kemp scored on a wild pitch by Aaron Bummer to make it 2-0. Alex Bregman walked before Michael Brantley scored two with a double. A single by Correa scored Bregman to extend the lead to 5-0.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: Houston placed RHP Collin McHugh on the 10-day IL with discomfort in his right elbow, retroactive to Saturday. Hinch said the team doesn't think the problem is serious and expects his stay on the IL to be short. ... 2B Jose Altuve (strained left hamstring) continues to increase his activity and could begin a rehabilitation assignment in the next few days. ... OF George Springer, who left Sunday's game with stiffness in his lower back, missed his second straight game.

THEY SAID IT

White Sox manager Rick Renteria on Verlander dominating his team on Tuesday night: ''Against a former Cy Young Award winner, I think they did everything they could possibly against this guy. He was that good tonight.''

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Ivan Nova (2-4, 7.42) will start for Chicago on Wednesday night. Nova will try and bounce back after yielding eight hits and nine runs in three innings of a 10-2 loss to Toronto in his last start.

Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (4-4, 3.56) is scheduled to start for Houston when the series continues Wednesday. Cole, who leads the majors with 93 strikeouts, struck out seven in five scoreless innings of Houston's 3-1 win over Boston in his last start.

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CHW21-26
000000100111
HOU33-16
00014000X580
  • W: J. Verlander (8-1)L: D. Covey (0-3)
  • HR: CHW - J. Abreu (11), HOU - Y. Gurriel (4)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
L. Garcia CF40000021.276.312.362.674-1.0
Y. Moncada 3B40000041.278.338.506.844-2.0
J. Abreu 1B41111011.259.317.508.8255.5
W. Castillo C30000010.173.287.321.608-0.5
E. Jimenez LF30000030.221.272.349.621-1.5
Y. Alonso DH20000100.181.282.323.6051.0
T. Anderson SS30000001.323.354.497.8510.0
C. Tilson RF30000010.308.345.346.692-0.5
Y. Sanchez 2B20000120.225.320.297.6180.0
D. Covey P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
A. Bummer P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Ruiz P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Minaya P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
A. Colome P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Reddick RF21100110.333.389.467.8562.5
    A. Bregman 3B31000104.265.388.554.9432.0
    M. Brantley DH40120003.326.374.561.9364.0
    C. Correa SS30110110.292.358.567.9252.5
    Y. Gurriel 1B41211003.269.310.429.7397.0
    A. Diaz 2B40200003.277.315.518.8332.0
    R. Chirinos C40000002.243.370.486.8560.0
    T. Kemp LF31100100.246.306.415.7214.0
    J. Marisnick CF21000200.286.348.560.9073.0
    J. Verlander P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    H. Rondon P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      BATTING
      • HR - J. Abreu (11)
      • RBI - J. Abreu (39)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Abreu, T. Anderson
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Brantley (14), T. Kemp
      • HR - Y. Gurriel (4)
      • RBI - M. Brantley 2 (34), C. Correa (32), Y. Gurriel (17)
      • 2-Out RBI - Y. Gurriel (10)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Bregman, M. Brantley 3 (3), R. Chirinos 2 (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 3 (Sanchez-Abreu; Anderson-Sanchez-Abreu; Moncada-Sanchez-Abreu)
      • E - W. Castillo (4)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      D. Covey (L, 0-3)4.04444115.311.57-4.5
      A. Bummer1.02111000.790.79-1.0
      J. Ruiz1.01001005.112.271.0
      J. Minaya1.01000101.931.392.5
      A. Colome1.00000001.890.633.0
      PITCHERSIP
      D. Covey (L, 0-3)4.0
      A. Bummer1.0
      J. Ruiz1.0
      J. Minaya1.0
      A. Colome1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 8-1)8.011111212.240.7337.0
      H. Rondon1.00001202.161.143.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 8-1)8.0
      H. Rondon1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - A. Bummer
      • Pitches-Strikes - D. Covey 86-55, A. Bummer 33-19, J. Ruiz 18-13, J. Minaya 9-6, A. Colome 6-4
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Covey 6-4, A. Bummer 1-1, J. Ruiz 1-2, J. Minaya 1-0
      • Batters Faced - D. Covey 19, A. Bummer 5, J. Ruiz 6, J. Minaya 3, A. Colome 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 101-74, H. Rondon 19-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 5-7, H. Rondon 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 26, H. Rondon 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      CHW21-26
      000000100111
      HOU33-16
      00014000X580
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      L. Garcia CF40000021.276.312.362.674-1.0
      Y. Moncada 3B40000041.278.338.506.844-2.0
      J. Abreu 1B41111011.259.317.508.8255.5
      W. Castillo C30000010.173.287.321.608-0.5
      E. Jimenez LF30000030.221.272.349.621-1.5
      Y. Alonso DH20000100.181.282.323.6051.0
      T. Anderson SS30000001.323.354.497.8510.0
      C. Tilson RF30000010.308.345.346.692-0.5
      Y. Sanchez 2B20000120.225.320.297.6180.0
      D. Covey P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      A. Bummer P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      J. Ruiz P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      J. Minaya P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      A. Colome P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Total2811112144-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        J. Reddick RF21100110.333.389.467.8562.5
        A. Bregman 3B31000104.265.388.554.9432.0
        M. Brantley DH40120003.326.374.561.9364.0
        C. Correa SS30110110.292.358.567.9252.5
        Y. Gurriel 1B41211003.269.310.429.7397.0
        A. Diaz 2B40200003.277.315.518.8332.0
        R. Chirinos C40000002.243.370.486.8560.0
        T. Kemp LF31100100.246.306.415.7214.0
        J. Marisnick CF21000200.286.348.560.9073.0
        J. Verlander P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        H. Rondon P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        Total2958416215-----
          BATTING
          • HR - J. Abreu (11)
          • RBI - J. Abreu (39)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Abreu, T. Anderson
          BATTING
          • 2B - M. Brantley (14), T. Kemp
          • HR - Y. Gurriel (4)
          • RBI - M. Brantley 2 (34), C. Correa (32), Y. Gurriel (17)
          • 2-Out RBI - Y. Gurriel (10)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Bregman, M. Brantley 3 (3), R. Chirinos 2 (2)
          FIELDING
          • DP - 3 (Sanchez-Abreu; Anderson-Sanchez-Abreu; Moncada-Sanchez-Abreu)
          • E - W. Castillo (4)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          D. Covey (L, 0-3)4.04444115.311.57-4.5
          A. Bummer1.02111000.790.79-1.0
          J. Ruiz1.01001005.112.271.0
          J. Minaya1.01000101.931.392.5
          A. Colome1.00000001.890.633.0
          Total8.0855621---
          PITCHERSIP
          D. Covey (L, 0-3)4.0
          A. Bummer1.0
          J. Ruiz1.0
          J. Minaya1.0
          A. Colome1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Verlander (W, 8-1)8.011111212.240.7337.0
          H. Rondon1.00001202.161.143.0
          Total9.01112141---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Verlander (W, 8-1)8.0
          H. Rondon1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - A. Bummer
          • Pitches-Strikes - D. Covey 86-55, A. Bummer 33-19, J. Ruiz 18-13, J. Minaya 9-6, A. Colome 6-4
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Covey 6-4, A. Bummer 1-1, J. Ruiz 1-2, J. Minaya 1-0
          • Batters Faced - D. Covey 19, A. Bummer 5, J. Ruiz 6, J. Minaya 3, A. Colome 3
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 101-74, H. Rondon 19-12
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 5-7, H. Rondon 1-0
          • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 26, H. Rondon 4
          • 7TH INNING
            Abreu homered to center15
          • 5TH INNING
            Correa singled to left center, Bregman scored, Brantley to third05
            Brantley doubled to left, Marisnick and Reddick scored, Bregman to third04
            Kemp scored, Marisnick to third, Reddick to second on wild pitch02
          • 4TH INNING
            Gurriel homered to right01
          • 9TH INNING
            • Hector Rondon relieved Justin Verlander
            • Y. Sanchez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Sanchez walked
            • L. Garcia: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
            • Y. Moncada: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Moncada struck out looking
            • J. Abreu: Abreu grounded out to catcher
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • Y. Alonso: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Alonso popped out to first
            • T. Anderson: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Anderson grounded out to second
            • C. Tilson: Foul, Ball, Tilson flied out to center
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Alex Colome relieved Juan Minaya
            • R. Chirinos: Ball, Strike swinging, Chirinos fouled out to first
            • T. Kemp: Ball, Kemp popped out to shortstop
            • J. Marisnick: Marisnick flied out to deep center
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • Y. Moncada: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Moncada struck out swinging
            • J. Abreu: Abreu homered to center
            • W. Castillo: Strike swinging, Foul, Castillo popped out to second
            • E. Jimenez: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Jimenez struck out looking
            • Middle of the 7th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Juan Minaya relieved Jose Ruiz
            • C. Correa: Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Gurriel singled to center
            • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Diaz grounded into double play third to second to first, Gurriel out at second
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • C. Tilson: Ball, Ball, Foul, Tilson flied out to left
            • Y. Sanchez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Sanchez struck out swinging
            • L. Garcia: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Garcia grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jose Ruiz relieved Aaron Bummer
            • R. Chirinos: Foul, Chirinos grounded out to shortstop
            • T. Kemp: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Kemp doubled to deep right
            • J. Marisnick: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Marisnick walked
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Foul, Reddick reached on catcher's interference, Kemp to third, Marisnick to second on catcher Castillo fielding error
            • A. Bregman: Bregman popped out to first
            • M. Brantley: Brantley fouled out to third
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
          • 5TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • E. Jimenez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Jimenez struck out swinging
            • Y. Alonso: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Alonso grounded out to first
            • T. Anderson: Anderson grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Covey Pitching:
            • T. Kemp: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Kemp walked
            • J. Marisnick: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Marisnick walked, Kemp to second
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball
            • Reddick walked, Kemp to third, Marisnick to second
            • A. Bregman: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Kemp scored, Marisnick to third, Reddick to second on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
            • M. Brantley: Strike (foul tip), Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Brantley doubled to left, Marisnick and Reddick scored, Bregman to third
            • C. Correa: Correa singled to left center, Bregman scored, Brantley to third
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Pickoff attempt to first, Foul, Gurriel lined out to shortstop
            • A. Diaz: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Diaz grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Correa out at second
            • End of the 5th (4 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • Y. Moncada: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Moncada struck out swinging
            • J. Abreu: Abreu fouled out to first
            • W. Castillo: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Castillo struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Covey Pitching:
            • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Brantley grounded out to second
            • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Correa lined out to first
            • Y. Gurriel: Foul, Gurriel homered to right
            • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Diaz singled to left
            • R. Chirinos: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Chirinos flied out to left
            • End of the 4th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • C. Tilson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Tilson struck out swinging
            • Y. Sanchez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Sanchez struck out swinging
            • L. Garcia: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Covey Pitching:
            • T. Kemp: Strike looking, Kemp grounded out to second
            • J. Marisnick: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Marisnick grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick singled to right
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Bregman flied out to left
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • W. Castillo: Castillo flied out to shallow center
            • E. Jimenez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Jimenez struck out swinging
            • Y. Alonso: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Alonso walked
            • T. Anderson: Ball, Ball, Foul, Anderson lined out to right
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Covey Pitching:
            • C. Correa: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Correa walked
            • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Ball, Gurriel grounded into double play second to first, Correa out at second
            • A. Diaz: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Diaz singled to right
            • R. Chirinos: Chirinos grounded out to third
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • L. Garcia: Strike looking, Garcia grounded out to second
            • Y. Moncada: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul tip, Moncada struck out on foul tip
            • J. Abreu: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Abreu struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • D. Covey Pitching:
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Brantley: Ball, Strike swinging, Brantley lined out to center
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)