Verlander wins 19th as Astros beat Rangers 4-1

HOUSTON (AP) Justin Verlander is approaching some important personal milestones.

Houston's ace is far more concerned with the goals his team is on the cusp of achieving.

Verlander picked up his major league-leading 19th win and Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez all homered to help the Astros to a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

The Astros are a win away from their third straight 100-win season and have a magic number of one to clinch a playoff berth and three to capture their third straight American League West title.

''I think there's two ways to think about it: Either we came in and expected to win it or you appreciate the moment,'' Verlander said. ''I think this team, I think we appreciate the moment ... obviously nothing is done yet but I think we've done an incredible job of just going out and continuing to play Astros baseball and win and not look in the rearview mirror, stay on the gas.''

Verlander (19-6) added to his case for the AL Cy Young Award by striking out eight and scattering four singles over six scoreless innings. He lowered his AL-leading ERA to 2.50 and his 283 strikeouts this season leave him 11 shy of becoming the 18th player in MLB history to reach 3,000.

He's one win away from reaching 20 for the second time in his career and the first time since winning a career-high 24 games in 2011 when he was voted AL MVP and Cy Young winner.

Manager AJ Hinch was asked to describe Verlander's season.

''We need an hour of conversation to talk about his season,'' Hinch said. ''He's so super focused on the days that he pitches. He executes his game plan and it's a sight to see.''

Roberto Osuna struck out two in the ninth for his 34th save.

Texas starter Lance Lynn (14-11) was tough early and the Astros had just one hit before Gurriel's home run to the first row of the seats in right field with one out in the fifth.

There were two outs in the sixth when Bregman launched his homer onto the train tracks atop left field to give him 37 this season. It's the most home runs by an Astro since Chris Carter also had 37 in 2014.

Bregman wasn't interested in talking about the season he's put together so far.

''I just show up and try to help the team win games,'' he said. ''I think the reason all of us play the game of baseball is to win, and that's what drives all of us, and that's the most important thing.''

Houston went back-to-back when Alvarez extended his rookie franchise record with his 26th homer on a ball hit to straightaway center field to make it 3-0.

''Lance did a great job, like he always does,'' Texas manager Chris Woodward said. ''But that lineup over there, if you make one mistake they make you pay.''

Nomar Mazara had two hits, including a solo home run off Hector Rondon in the seventh inning as the Rangers dropped their fourth game overall and the sixth straight to the Astros.

Lynn yielded seven hits and four runs with eight strikeouts in seven innings. He is 0-5 in his last eight starts behind an offense that hasn't provided much run support. The Rangers haven't scored more than three runs in one of his starts since his last win on Aug. 2.

Jose Altuve singled with one out in the first inning before Lynn settled in, retiring the next 12 batters, with six strikeouts before Gurriel's homer.

Houston shortstop Carlos Correa went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his return after sitting out since Aug. 19 with a sore lower back.

The Astros tacked on a run in the seventh inning when Robinson Chirinos tripled and scored on a single by George Springer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: OF Joey Gallo (wrist surgery) is working out and playing in games at the Rangers instructional league in Arizona and could come off the injured list by the end of the week.

Astros: Correa was only able to get one rehabilitation game in at Triple-A Round Rock before the team's season ended, so the Astros will ease him back into playing every day. Hinch said he'll be off on Wednesday to give him two days off coupled with an off day on Thursday and that he'll likely only play two of three games this weekend against the Angels. ... RHP Brad Peacock (sore shoulder) threw a bullpen session on Monday and is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Thursday as he moves closer to coming off the injured list.

150

Osuna, who is 24, reached 150 saves on Tuesday to make him the youngest pitcher in MLB history to reach the mark, passing Craig Kimbrel, who did it at 25. Osuna's 34 saves are tied for second-most in the AL and eighth in a season in franchise history.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Kolby Allard (4-0, 4.34) will start for Texas on Wednesday night. The rookie allowed seven hits and four runs in four innings in his last start but did not factor in the decision in a 6-4 win over Tampa Bay.

Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (17-5, 2.62), who leads the majors with 292 strikeouts, is scheduled to start for Houston on Wednesday. Cole allowed four hits and one run while striking out 11 as he pitched a season-high eight innings for the second straight start in a 4-1 win over Kansas City the last time out.

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123456789RHE
TEX74-78
000000100160
HOU99-53
00001210X470
  • W: J. Verlander (19-6)L: L. Lynn (14-11)S: R. Osuna (34)
  • HR: TEX - N. Mazara (18), HOU - A. Bregman (37), Y. Gurriel (29), Y. Alvarez (26)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
S. Choo DH40000020.266.367.451.818-1.0
E. Andrus SS40100010.272.311.386.697-0.5
W. Calhoun LF20100210.266.318.518.8362.5
N. Mazara RF41211001.270.318.466.7847.0
D. Santana 1B40100032.286.318.533.8510.5
N. Solak 3B30000033.311.421.511.932-1.5
R. Odor 2B30000021.204.280.432.712-1.0
D. DeShields CF30100001.244.326.341.6681.0
J. Trevino C30000001.273.290.420.7110.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF40110012.293.382.582.9641.5
    J. Altuve 2B40100011.302.359.550.9080.5
    M. Brantley LF40000011.319.378.512.890-0.5
    A. Bregman 3B31111111.296.420.5831.0046.5
    Y. Alvarez DH31111110.316.418.6741.0926.5
    Y. Gurriel 1B41111002.302.346.547.8936.0
    C. Correa SS40000032.274.354.547.901-1.5
    R. Chirinos C31200010.242.353.452.8054.5
    J. Reddick RF20000101.273.317.405.7221.0
      BATTING
      • 2B - D. Santana (22)
      • HR - N. Mazara (18)
      • RBI - N. Mazara (65)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Mazara, N. Solak (5), D. DeShields (26)
      BATTING
      • 3B - R. Chirinos
      • HR - A. Bregman (37), Y. Alvarez (26), Y. Gurriel (29)
      • RBI - G. Springer (90), A. Bregman (105), Y. Alvarez (76), Y. Gurriel (100)
      • 2-Out RBI - G. Springer (26), A. Bregman (45), Y. Alvarez (34)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - G. Springer (45), J. Altuve, A. Bregman, C. Correa (33)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - E. Andrus (8)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Altuve-Correa-Gurriel)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      L. Lynn (L, 14-11)7.07441833.771.248.0
      J. Leclerc1.00002104.041.311.5
      PITCHERSIP
      L. Lynn (L, 14-11)7.0
      J. Leclerc1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 19-6)6.04002802.500.7926.0
      H. Rondon (H, 18)1.02110213.571.241.0
      W. Harris (H, 25)1.00000001.580.983.0
      R. Osuna (S, 34)1.00000202.850.8711.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 19-6)6.0
      H. Rondon (H, 18)1.0
      W. Harris (H, 25)1.0
      R. Osuna (S, 34)1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - L. Lynn 103-71, J. Leclerc 19-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Lynn 4-9
      • Batters Faced - L. Lynn 29, J. Leclerc 5
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 87-56, H. Rondon 14-10, W. Harris 15-8, R. Osuna 14-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 7-0, W. Harris 3-0, R. Osuna 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 21, H. Rondon 5, W. Harris 3, R. Osuna 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      TEX74-78
      000000100160
      HOU99-53
      00001210X470
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      S. Choo DH40000020.266.367.451.818-1.0
      E. Andrus SS40100010.272.311.386.697-0.5
      W. Calhoun LF20100210.266.318.518.8362.5
      N. Mazara RF41211001.270.318.466.7847.0
      D. Santana 1B40100032.286.318.533.8510.5
      N. Solak 3B30000033.311.421.511.932-1.5
      R. Odor 2B30000021.204.280.432.712-1.0
      D. DeShields CF30100001.244.326.341.6681.0
      J. Trevino C30000001.273.290.420.7110.0
      Total3016112129-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        G. Springer CF40110012.293.382.582.9641.5
        J. Altuve 2B40100011.302.359.550.9080.5
        M. Brantley LF40000011.319.378.512.890-0.5
        A. Bregman 3B31111111.296.420.5831.0046.5
        Y. Alvarez DH31111110.316.418.6741.0926.5
        Y. Gurriel 1B41111002.302.346.547.8936.0
        C. Correa SS40000032.274.354.547.901-1.5
        R. Chirinos C31200010.242.353.452.8054.5
        J. Reddick RF20000101.273.317.405.7221.0
        Total3147433910-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - D. Santana (22)
          • HR - N. Mazara (18)
          • RBI - N. Mazara (65)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Mazara, N. Solak (5), D. DeShields (26)
          BATTING
          • 3B - R. Chirinos
          • HR - A. Bregman (37), Y. Alvarez (26), Y. Gurriel (29)
          • RBI - G. Springer (90), A. Bregman (105), Y. Alvarez (76), Y. Gurriel (100)
          • 2-Out RBI - G. Springer (26), A. Bregman (45), Y. Alvarez (34)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - G. Springer (45), J. Altuve, A. Bregman, C. Correa (33)
          BASERUNNING
          • CS - E. Andrus (8)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Altuve-Correa-Gurriel)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          L. Lynn (L, 14-11)7.07441833.771.248.0
          J. Leclerc1.00002104.041.311.5
          Total8.0744393---
          PITCHERSIP
          L. Lynn (L, 14-11)7.0
          J. Leclerc1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Verlander (W, 19-6)6.04002802.500.7926.0
          H. Rondon (H, 18)1.02110213.571.241.0
          W. Harris (H, 25)1.00000001.580.983.0
          R. Osuna (S, 34)1.00000202.850.8711.0
          Total9.06112121---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Verlander (W, 19-6)6.0
          H. Rondon (H, 18)1.0
          W. Harris (H, 25)1.0
          R. Osuna (S, 34)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - L. Lynn 103-71, J. Leclerc 19-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Lynn 4-9
          • Batters Faced - L. Lynn 29, J. Leclerc 5
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 87-56, H. Rondon 14-10, W. Harris 15-8, R. Osuna 14-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 7-0, W. Harris 3-0, R. Osuna 1-0
          • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 21, H. Rondon 5, W. Harris 3, R. Osuna 3
          • 7TH INNING
            Springer reached on an infield single to shortstop, Chirinos scored14
            Mazara homered to left13
          • 6TH INNING
            Alvarez homered to center03
            Bregman homered to left02
          • 5TH INNING
            Gurriel homered to right01
          • 9TH INNING
            • Roberto Osuna relieved Will Harris
            • W. Calhoun: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Calhoun struck out swinging
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Mazara grounded out to second
            • D. Santana: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Will Harris relieved Hector Rondon
            • J. Trevino: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Trevino grounded out to third
            • S. Choo: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Choo grounded out to third
            • El. Andrus: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Andrus grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jose Leclerc relieved Lance Lynn
            • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Brantley flied out to right
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
            • Y. Alvarez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Alvarez walked, Bregman to second
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Gurriel fouled out to right, Bregman to third
            • Ca. Correa: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Hector Rondon relieved Justin Verlander
            • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Ball, Mazara homered to left
            • D. Santana: Ball, Ball, Santana doubled to right
            • N. Solak: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Solak struck out looking
            • R. Odor: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
            • D. DeShields: DeShields flied out to right
            • Middle of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • Ca. Correa: Strike swinging, Ball, Correa lined out to shortstop
            • R. Chirinos: Foul, Chirinos tripled to left
            • J. Reddick: Reddick flied out to shallow right
            • G. Springer: Ball, Strike looking, Springer reached on an infield single to shortstop, Chirinos scored
            • J. Altuve: Altuve reached on fielder's choice to second, Springer out at second
            • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Choo grounded out to second
            • El. Andrus: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Andrus grounded out to shortstop
            • W. Calhoun: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Calhoun walked
            • N. Mazara: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Calhoun out at second
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • J. Altuve: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
            • M. Brantley: Brantley flied out to right
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman homered to left
            • Y. Alvarez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Alvarez homered to center
            • Y. Gurriel: Foul, Gurriel grounded out to third
            • End of the 6th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • R. Odor: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Odor struck out looking
            • D. DeShields: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, DeShields singled to shallow right
            • J. Trevino: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Trevino grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, DeShields out at second
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • Y. Alvarez: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Alvarez struck out looking
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Gurriel homered to right
            • Ca. Correa: Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • R. Chirinos: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Chirinos singled to right
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Reddick walked, Chirinos to second
            • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Springer flied out to deep center
            • End of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • El. Andrus: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Andrus struck out swinging
            • W. Calhoun: Ball, Ball, Calhoun singled to center
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Mazara singled to left, Calhoun to second
            • D. Santana: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
            • N. Solak: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Solak struck out on foul tip
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Altuve popped out to second
            • M. Brantley: Ball, Brantley flied out to center
            • A. Bregman: Bregman grounded out to third
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • D. DeShields: Strike looking, DeShields grounded out to second
            • J. Trevino: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Trevino grounded out to shortstop
            • S. Choo: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Choo struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • R. Chirinos: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Chirinos struck out looking
            • J. Reddick: Reddick popped out to shortstop
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • D. Santana: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
            • N. Solak: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Solak struck out swinging
            • R. Odor: Ball, Foul, Odor grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • Y. Alvarez: Strike looking, Alvarez flied out to left
            • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Gurriel grounded out to third
            • Ca. Correa: Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Choo struck out swinging
            • El. Andrus: Andrus singled to left
            • W. Calhoun: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Andrus caught stealing second, catcher to shortstop, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Calhoun walked
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Ball, Mazara grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Springer flied out to right
            • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Altuve singled to left
            • M. Brantley: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Brantley struck out swinging
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Bregman struck out swinging
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)