Verlander sharp against old team, Astros top Tigers 5-1

DETROIT (AP) Two seasons after being traded to Houston, Justin Verlander is still appreciated in the Motor City.

Verlander allowed two hits in seven impressive innings against his former team, and the Astros won their eighth straight game, 5-1 over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. It was Verlander's second start at Comerica Park since his 2017 trade from Detroit to Houston. The crowd was sparse, but he received a nice little ovation after his last inning of work, and he waved to acknowledge the fans.

''It honestly is really special. I think for the most part of my career here, the fans were always incredible toward me,'' Verlander said. ''What it comes down to is I always gave everything I had - blood, sweat, tears. There was never anything left out there.''

Verlander (7-1) struck out nine . JaCoby Jones homered off him in the third for the Tigers' only run, but with Miguel Cabrera out of the lineup, Detroit managed little offensively. The only significant jam Verlander faced was in the fifth, when Niko Goodrum lined out with the bases loaded.

Alex Bregman hit his 14th homer of the season, a solo shot off Gregory Soto (0-2) to open the scoring in the first. Bregman pulled within two home runs of teammate George Springer, the American League leader. Springer nearly hit one of his own, but Detroit left fielder Christin Stewart reached above the wall to make the catch in the fourth.

Verlander retired his first eight hitters before Jones connected for a 436-foot homer in the third. The right-hander rebounded by striking out the side in the fourth. With the bases loaded in the fifth and the Tigers down 3-1, Goodrum hit a line drive that second baseman Aledmys Diaz caught to end the inning.

The announced attendance was just 15,940 - a far cry from the atmosphere for some of Verlander's starts when he was leading the Tigers to division titles in Detroit.

''It's kind of sad,'' he said. ''I think most of my memories here, this ballpark was packed and fans were rowdy, and it's obviously a bit different now. But that comes with winning.''

Jake Marisnick hit an RBI single for Houston in the second, and Robinson Chirinos added a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Detroit made two errors in the sixth, helping the Astros score another run.

Marisnick hit a run-scoring triple in the eighth to make it 5-1.

Soto was recalled from Double-A Erie before the game, and Detroit used him as a two-inning ''opener'' because its rotation is depleted by injury. Nick Ramirez relieved him and went four innings.

After the game, the Tigers optioned third baseman Jeimer Candelario to Triple-A Toledo.

''It was tough,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''He's one of my favorite guys in this clubhouse - but we didn't think we had a choice. He's lost at the plate right now, and although he has been better defensively for most of the season, he's gotten sloppy in the last few games.''

Houston has won 11 of 12, although this was a tamer offensive performance after the Astros scored 45 runs in their previous four games.

Ryan Pressly pitched the eighth for Houston, extending his scoreless innings streak to 37.

FAMILIAR FACES

Verlander beat Detroit at Comerica last September, but he lost to the Tigers when he faced them in Houston in July.

''All the guys I played with, I'm rooting for them,'' Verlander said. ''I think you always root for your friends. You're not wishing ill will on anybody until I'm facing them.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Tigers: Cabrera missed the game because of a sore knee. Gardenhire did not seem to think it was a serious problem. Cabrera was injured most of last season, so Verlander didn't face him then either.

''We talked about it a bunch when we played together. I don't know what I would have done to him,'' Verlander said. ''I've seen him be such a prodigious hitter for so long. You have all these moments in your head that you just have flashbacks to. And it's like, all right, well, he's hit that pitch, he's hit that pitch, he's hit that pitch.''

UP NEXT

Astros: Houston is off Thursday before an AL Championship Series rematch at Boston. Gerrit Cole (4-4) starts the series opener for the Astros on Friday night against Rick Porcello (3-3).

Tigers: RHP Spencer Turnbull (2-2) takes the mound Thursday when Detroit opens a four-game set against Oakland. Chris Bassitt (1-1) starts for the Athletics.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
HOU29-15
110101010581
DET18-23
001000000122
  • W: J. Verlander (7-1)L: G. Soto (0-2)
  • HR: HOU - A. Bregman (14), DET - J. Jones (3)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer RF50010016.320.400.6511.0510.5
A. Bregman 3B51111022.270.378.579.9575.0
M. Brantley DH30000200.329.379.575.9541.0
C. Correa SS50200012.301.360.583.9441.5
Y. Gurriel 1B40000002.269.307.423.7300.0
A. Diaz 2B22000200.256.299.513.8124.0
J. Reddick LF31200100.333.388.444.8324.0
R. Chirinos C31110014.268.398.546.9453.5
J. Marisnick CF30220003.313.361.597.9586.0
J. Verlander P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Pressly P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Osuna P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    N. Goodrum 1B40000013.208.314.346.660-0.5
    C. Stewart LF40000020.203.291.446.737-1.0
    N. Castellanos RF40000030.263.314.436.750-1.5
    R. Rodriguez SS40000021.296.341.6671.008-1.0
    J. Candelario 3B40000021.192.285.288.573-1.0
    J. Hicks C30000020.253.305.413.718-1.0
    J. Harrison 2B30100010.168.218.267.4862.5
    B. Dixon DH20000100.298.327.553.8801.0
    J. Jones CF21111110.165.252.297.5496.5
    G. Soto P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    N. Ramirez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Z. Reininger P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    J. Jimenez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Chirinos (9)
      • 3B - J. Marisnick
      • HR - A. Bregman (14)
      • SF - R. Chirinos (3)
      • SH - J. Marisnick
      • RBI - G. Springer (40), A. Bregman (34), R. Chirinos (21), J. Marisnick 2 (10)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Marisnick 2 (4)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - G. Springer 4 (4), A. Bregman 2 (2), Y. Gurriel 2 (2)
      BATTING
      • 3B - J. Harrison
      • HR - J. Jones (3)
      • RBI - J. Jones (6)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Jones (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Goodrum 3 (3), J. Candelario
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - M. Brantley (2)
      FIELDING
      • E - A. Bregman (3)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Hicks-Harrison; Candelario-Harrison-Goodrum)
      • E - J. Candelario (3), R. Rodriguez (4)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 7-1)7.02112912.380.7930.5
      R. Pressly1.00000200.000.474.0
      R. Osuna1.00000300.490.334.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 7-1)7.0
      R. Pressly1.0
      R. Osuna1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      G. Soto (L, 0-2)2.032223113.502.67-4.5
      N. Ramirez4.03212202.251.507.0
      Z. Reininger2.021110010.132.062.0
      J. Jimenez1.00000004.151.333.0
      PITCHERSIP
      G. Soto (L, 0-2)2.0
      N. Ramirez4.0
      Z. Reininger2.0
      J. Jimenez1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 101-71, R. Pressly 13-9, R. Osuna 15-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 5-8, R. Pressly 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 26, R. Pressly 3, R. Osuna 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - G. Soto 47-27, N. Ramirez 77-48, Z. Reininger 21-14, J. Jimenez 12-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Soto 2-0, N. Ramirez 6-6, Z. Reininger 3-2, J. Jimenez 2-1
      • Batters Faced - G. Soto 10, N. Ramirez 19, Z. Reininger 8, J. Jimenez 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      HOU29-15
      110101010581
      DET18-23
      001000000122
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      G. Springer RF50010016.320.400.6511.0510.5
      A. Bregman 3B51111022.270.378.579.9575.0
      M. Brantley DH30000200.329.379.575.9541.0
      C. Correa SS50200012.301.360.583.9441.5
      Y. Gurriel 1B40000002.269.307.423.7300.0
      A. Diaz 2B22000200.256.299.513.8124.0
      J. Reddick LF31200100.333.388.444.8324.0
      R. Chirinos C31110014.268.398.546.9453.5
      J. Marisnick CF30220003.313.361.597.9586.0
      J. Verlander P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      R. Pressly P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      R. Osuna P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Total3358515519-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        N. Goodrum 1B40000013.208.314.346.660-0.5
        C. Stewart LF40000020.203.291.446.737-1.0
        N. Castellanos RF40000030.263.314.436.750-1.5
        R. Rodriguez SS40000021.296.341.6671.008-1.0
        J. Candelario 3B40000021.192.285.288.573-1.0
        J. Hicks C30000020.253.305.413.718-1.0
        J. Harrison 2B30100010.168.218.267.4862.5
        B. Dixon DH20000100.298.327.553.8801.0
        J. Jones CF21111110.165.252.297.5496.5
        G. Soto P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        N. Ramirez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        Z. Reininger P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        J. Jimenez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        Total3012112145-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - R. Chirinos (9)
          • 3B - J. Marisnick
          • HR - A. Bregman (14)
          • SF - R. Chirinos (3)
          • SH - J. Marisnick
          • RBI - G. Springer (40), A. Bregman (34), R. Chirinos (21), J. Marisnick 2 (10)
          • 2-Out RBI - J. Marisnick 2 (4)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - G. Springer 4 (4), A. Bregman 2 (2), Y. Gurriel 2 (2)
          BATTING
          • 3B - J. Harrison
          • HR - J. Jones (3)
          • RBI - J. Jones (6)
          • 2-Out RBI - J. Jones (2)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Goodrum 3 (3), J. Candelario
          BASERUNNING
          • CS - M. Brantley (2)
          FIELDING
          • E - A. Bregman (3)
          FIELDING
          • DP - 2 (Hicks-Harrison; Candelario-Harrison-Goodrum)
          • E - J. Candelario (3), R. Rodriguez (4)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Verlander (W, 7-1)7.02112912.380.7930.5
          R. Pressly1.00000200.000.474.0
          R. Osuna1.00000300.490.334.5
          Total9.02112141---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Verlander (W, 7-1)7.0
          R. Pressly1.0
          R. Osuna1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          G. Soto (L, 0-2)2.032223113.502.67-4.5
          N. Ramirez4.03212202.251.507.0
          Z. Reininger2.021110010.132.062.0
          J. Jimenez1.00000004.151.333.0
          Total9.0854551---
          PITCHERSIP
          G. Soto (L, 0-2)2.0
          N. Ramirez4.0
          Z. Reininger2.0
          J. Jimenez1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 101-71, R. Pressly 13-9, R. Osuna 15-11
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 5-8, R. Pressly 1-0
          • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 26, R. Pressly 3, R. Osuna 3
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - G. Soto 47-27, N. Ramirez 77-48, Z. Reininger 21-14, J. Jimenez 12-8
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Soto 2-0, N. Ramirez 6-6, Z. Reininger 3-2, J. Jimenez 2-1
          • Batters Faced - G. Soto 10, N. Ramirez 19, Z. Reininger 8, J. Jimenez 3
          • 8TH INNING
            Marisnick tripled to deep right center, Chirinos scored51
          • 6TH INNING
            Springer reached on fielder's choice to third, Reddick scored, Chirinos to third, Marisnick out at second41
          • 4TH INNING
            Chirinos hit sacrifice fly to left, Diaz scored31
          • 3RD INNING
            Jones homered to left21
          • 2ND INNING
            Marisnick singled to left, Diaz scored, Reddick to second20
          • 1ST INNING
            Bregman homered to left center10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Joe Jimenez relieved Zac Reininger
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Bregman grounded out to third
            • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Brantley grounded out to shortstop
            • C. Correa: Foul, Ball, Correa popped out to second
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Roberto Osuna relieved Ryan Pressly
            • N. Castellanos: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging
            • R. Rodriguez: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Rodriguez struck out swinging
            • J. Candelario: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Candelario struck out swinging
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Z. Reininger Pitching:
            • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Diaz grounded out to third
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Reddick flied out to deep center
            • R. Chirinos: Strike looking, Ball, Chirinos doubled to center
            • J. Marisnick: Ball, Marisnick tripled to deep right center, Chirinos scored
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Springer grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Ryan Pressly relieved Justin Verlander
            • J. Jones: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Jones struck out looking
            • N. Goodrum: Strike looking, Ball, Goodrum grounded out to second
            • C. Stewart: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Stewart struck out on foul tip
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Zac Reininger relieved Nick Ramirez
            • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Brantley walked
            • C. Correa: Foul, Correa grounded into double play third to second to first, Brantley out at second
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Gurriel fouled out to first
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • J. Hicks: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Hicks struck out swinging
            • J. Harrison: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Harrison struck out swinging
            • B. Dixon: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Dixon flied out to deep center
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • N. Ramirez Pitching:
            • A. Diaz: Diaz safe at first on shortstop Rodriguez fielding error
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Reddick walked, Diaz to second
            • R. Chirinos: Chirinos reached on fielder's choice to third, Diaz to third, Reddick to second on 3rd baseman Candelario fielding error
            • J. Marisnick: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Marisnick reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Diaz out at home, Reddick to third, Chirinos to second
            • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Springer reached on fielder's choice to third, Reddick scored, Chirinos to third, Marisnick out at second
            • A. Bregman: Pickoff attempt to first, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Pickoff attempt to first, Bregman flied out to center
            • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 0 Hits, 2 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • C. Stewart: Ball, Stewart flied out to deep right
            • N. Castellanos: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Castellanos safe at first on 3rd baseman Bregman throwing error
            • R. Rodriguez: Foul, Rodriguez grounded out to second, Castellanos to second
            • J. Candelario: Strike looking, Ball, Candelario flied out to right
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
          • 5TH INNING
            • N. Ramirez Pitching:
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Bregman struck out looking
            • M. Brantley: Ball, Brantley grounded out to first
            • C. Correa: Foul, Strike swinging, Correa singled to left
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Gurriel popped out to second
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • J. Candelario: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Candelario struck out looking
            • J. Hicks: Hicks popped out to second
            • J. Harrison: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Harrison tripled to deep center
            • B. Dixon: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Dixon walked
            • J. Jones: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Jones walked, Dixon to second
            • N. Goodrum: Ball, Strike looking, Goodrum lined out to second
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • N. Ramirez Pitching:
            • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Diaz walked
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Reddick singled to center, Diaz to third
            • R. Chirinos: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt to first, Chirinos hit sacrifice fly to left, Diaz scored
            • J. Marisnick: Marisnick hit sacrifice bunt to catcher, Reddick to second
            • G. Springer: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Springer flied out to deep left
            • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • C. Stewart: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Stewart struck out swinging
            • N. Castellanos: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging
            • R. Rodriguez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rodriguez struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • Nick Ramirez relieved Gregory Soto
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Bregman struck out looking
            • M. Brantley: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Brantley lined out to center
            • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Correa singled to left center
            • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel flied out to center
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • J. Harrison: Foul, Ball, Ball, Harrison flied out to center
            • B. Dixon: Ball, Dixon grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Jones: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Jones homered to left
            • N. Goodrum: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Goodrum grounded out to first
            • End of the 3rd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • G. Soto Pitching:
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gurriel grounded out to second
            • A. Diaz: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Diaz walked
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick singled to right center, Diaz to third
            • R. Chirinos: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Chirinos struck out swinging
            • J. Marisnick: Foul, Foul, Foul, Marisnick singled to left, Diaz scored, Reddick to second
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Strike looking, Springer struck out looking
            • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • R. Rodriguez: Rodriguez flied out to shallow center
            • J. Candelario: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Candelario lined out to center
            • J. Hicks: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Hicks struck out swinging
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • G. Soto Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Springer grounded out to third
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Bregman homered to left center
            • M. Brantley: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Brantley walked
            • C. Correa: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Brantley caught stealing second, catcher to second
            • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • N. Goodrum: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Strike swinging, Goodrum struck out swinging
            • C. Stewart: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Stewart grounded out to first
            • N. Castellanos: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)