Verlander dominates over 7 innings, Astros beat Twins 2-0

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Facing Joe Mauer with runners at the corners and no outs, Justin Verlander reached back for a fastball that broke in to strike out the lefty-hitting Mauer.

Verlander said he yanked the four-seam fastball and was fortunate Mauer swung over it.

''Sometimes you get lucky,'' Verlander said.

Verlander didn't need much luck against Mauer and the Minnesota Twins. He struck out nine over seven dominant innings, Carlos Correa had two hits and the Houston Astros won 2-0 on Monday night.

The right-hander followed his strikeout of Mauer in the sixth by striking out Miguel Sano and getting Eddie Rosario to pop out, freezing up Minnesota's rally on a chilly night with a first-pitch temperature of 35 degrees.

Verlander gave up three hits and walked one while helping the reigning World Series champions match their best 11-game start by going 9-2.

The right-hander improved to 11-1 in 14 games, including the playoffs, since being traded to Houston last season. He's 7-0 with a 1.20 ERA in eight regular season starts since the trade.

''He dials it up like the best in the game,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''I don't know too many guys that are better in those situations. There's a lot of great pitchers around the league but when he can feel it and he smells that he needs to turn his game up, he really reaches deep and does some incredible things.''

Ken Giles earned his first save of the season for Houston by getting Byron Buxton to ground out with a runner on third in the ninth. Buxton hit a long foul ball during the at-bat that just went wide of the left field foul pole.

''Not overly concerned about it, just trying to get these guys to understand - they're probably tired of hearing about it - but we just haven't really settled into consistent at-bats and consistent play and conducive conditions, so you've just got to keep grinding,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ''You've got to hold your own the best you can until you start getting a better feel for playing day in and day out, which we haven't done.''

Minnesota reliever Taylor Rogers (1-1) allowed a leadoff double to Correa in the sixth after coming in for starter Lance Lynn. Correa scored from third on rookie J.D. Davis' liner to left field off reliever Trevor Hildenberger.

Davis entered the night 1 for 14 and drove in his first RBI of the season. Marwin Gonzalez added an RBI double in the eighth.

''It's mental,'' Davis said. ''It's going through some growing pains. I'm just glad in a tight situation I came through for the team and got on the board for Justin.''

Verlander allowed a one-out double in the first to Mauer and then retired eight in a row before walking Mauer to lead off the fourth. Mauer is hitting .329 in 79 at-bats his career against Verlander, the former Detroit Tigers' ace who is 13-2 in his last 20 starts against the Twins.

Minnesota loaded the bases in the eighth, but Eddie Rosario grounded into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch from reliever Chris Devenski.

LYNN'S NEW HOME

Lynn pitched five scoreless innings in his first start at Target Field but departed early because of a rising pitch count. After walking six batters in his first outing of the year, Lynn walked four on Monday. He struck out nine batters and left after 105 pitches.

''It feels miserable,'' Lynn said. ''I feel like I've gotten off to the worst start I've ever got off to in the big leagues. It needs to change real quick.''

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

Sunday's postponement allowed Minnesota to push back a decision on a fifth starter until Friday. Molitor said a decision on who will fill the spot hasn't been made.

The assumption has been that Phil Hughes would be activated off the disabled list to start, but Molitor said there is also a plan ''B and C, at least.'' Molitor said Hughes will throw another side session on Tuesday and the team is keeping him on track for consideration on Friday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: OF Josh Reddick was held out with an illness. ... Yuli Gurriel (left hand surgery) was expected to play first and third base in a rehab game at Double-A Corpus Christi on Monday, and he's set to be the designated hitter there Wednesday.

Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (finger surgery) will be back in Minnesota on Tuesday to meet with team doctors. Molitor said he's heard Santana wants to see if he can get approval to do more in his rehab.

UP NEXT

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 3.27 ERA) will make his third start of the season in Tuesday's evening contest. Keuchel gave up two runs - one earned - in five innings his last start against Baltimore.

Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 2.51) will make his first start at Target Field as a member of the Twins. Odorizzi, who made three starts at the park with Tampa Bay, gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings at Pittsburgh last week.

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123456789RHE
HOU9-2
000001010270
MIN4-4
000000000061
  • W: J. Verlander (2-0)L: T. Rogers (1-1)S: K. Giles (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer DH50000020.182.260.318.578-1.0
A. Bregman 3B20000200.175.327.225.5521.0
J. Altuve 2B40100011.357.404.405.8090.5
C. Correa SS42200022.333.368.6361.0054.0
M. Gonzalez LF30110101.200.326.371.6974.0
B. McCann C30100112.364.481.364.8451.5
J. Davis 1B40110034.111.158.111.2690.5
J. Marisnick CF40100023.179.179.393.5710.0
D. Fisher RF40000024.167.192.333.526-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    B. Dozier 2B40100011.286.342.657.9990.5
    J. Mauer 1B20100212.375.500.5421.0423.5
    M. Sano 3B40000036.258.361.6451.006-1.5
    E. Adrianza PR-SS00000000.200.200.300.5000.0
    E. Rosario LF40000007.200.250.333.5830.0
    L. Morrison DH40000011.043.154.087.241-0.5
    E. Escobar SS-3B40100010.375.360.7081.0681.5
    M. Kepler RF40100021.269.387.462.8490.0
    B. Buxton CF40000002.161.161.194.3550.0
    J. Castro C30200010.158.273.368.6412.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Correa (4), M. Gonzalez (3)
      • RBI - M. Gonzalez (5), J. Davis
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Davis
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Mauer (4), E. Escobar (5), J. Castro
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - A. Bregman
      FIELDING
      • E - E. Rosario (2)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 2-0)7.04001901.450.9630.5
      B. Peacock (H, 1)0.11001100.000.63-1.5
      C. Devenski (H, 2)1.11000001.800.802.0
      K. Giles (S, 1)0.10000004.501.507.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 2-0)7.0
      B. Peacock (H, 1)0.1
      C. Devenski (H, 2)1.1
      K. Giles (S, 1)0.1
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      L. Lynn5.03004905.001.7812.5
      T. Rogers (L, 1-1)0.21110002.251.00-7.0
      T. Hildenberger1.11000003.381.132.0
      A. Reed1.02110201.420.951.0
      R. Pressly1.00000200.001.154.0
      PITCHERSIP
      L. Lynn5.0
      T. Rogers (L, 1-1)0.2
      T. Hildenberger1.1
      A. Reed1.0
      R. Pressly1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Verlander
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 109-69, B. Peacock 21-12, C. Devenski 14-9, K. Giles 5-3
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 4-8, B. Peacock 1-0, C. Devenski 2-1, K. Giles 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 26, B. Peacock 4, C. Devenski 4, K. Giles
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - L. Lynn 105-57, T. Rogers 7-4, T. Hildenberger 20-14, A. Reed 20-13, R. Pressly 13-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Lynn 2-3, T. Rogers 2-0, T. Hildenberger 3-1, R. Pressly 1-0
      • Batters Faced - L. Lynn 21, T. Rogers 3, T. Hildenberger 5, A. Reed 5, R. Pressly 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      HOU9-2
      000001010270
      MIN4-4
      000000000061
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      G. Springer DH50000020.182.260.318.578-1.0
      A. Bregman 3B20000200.175.327.225.5521.0
      J. Altuve 2B40100011.357.404.405.8090.5
      C. Correa SS42200022.333.368.6361.0054.0
      M. Gonzalez LF30110101.200.326.371.6974.0
      B. McCann C30100112.364.481.364.8451.5
      J. Davis 1B40110034.111.158.111.2690.5
      J. Marisnick CF40100023.179.179.393.5710.0
      D. Fisher RF40000024.167.192.333.526-1.0
      Total33272041317-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        B. Dozier 2B40100011.286.342.657.9990.5
        J. Mauer 1B20100212.375.500.5421.0423.5
        M. Sano 3B40000036.258.361.6451.006-1.5
        E. Adrianza PR-SS00000000.200.200.300.5000.0
        E. Rosario LF40000007.200.250.333.5830.0
        L. Morrison DH40000011.043.154.087.241-0.5
        E. Escobar SS-3B40100010.375.360.7081.0681.5
        M. Kepler RF40100021.269.387.462.8490.0
        B. Buxton CF40000002.161.161.194.3550.0
        J. Castro C30200010.158.273.368.6412.5
        Total33060021020-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - C. Correa (4), M. Gonzalez (3)
          • RBI - M. Gonzalez (5), J. Davis
          • 2-Out RBI - J. Davis
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Mauer (4), E. Escobar (5), J. Castro
          BASERUNNING
          • CS - A. Bregman
          FIELDING
          • E - E. Rosario (2)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Verlander (W, 2-0)7.04001901.450.9630.5
          B. Peacock (H, 1)0.11001100.000.63-1.5
          C. Devenski (H, 2)1.11000001.800.802.0
          K. Giles (S, 1)0.10000004.501.507.0
          Total9.06002100---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Verlander (W, 2-0)7.0
          B. Peacock (H, 1)0.1
          C. Devenski (H, 2)1.1
          K. Giles (S, 1)0.1
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          L. Lynn5.03004905.001.7812.5
          T. Rogers (L, 1-1)0.21110002.251.00-7.0
          T. Hildenberger1.11000003.381.132.0
          A. Reed1.02110201.420.951.0
          R. Pressly1.00000200.001.154.0
          Total9.07224130---
          PITCHERSIP
          L. Lynn5.0
          T. Rogers (L, 1-1)0.2
          T. Hildenberger1.1
          A. Reed1.0
          R. Pressly1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - J. Verlander
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 109-69, B. Peacock 21-12, C. Devenski 14-9, K. Giles 5-3
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 4-8, B. Peacock 1-0, C. Devenski 2-1, K. Giles 1-0
          • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 26, B. Peacock 4, C. Devenski 4, K. Giles
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - L. Lynn 105-57, T. Rogers 7-4, T. Hildenberger 20-14, A. Reed 20-13, R. Pressly 13-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Lynn 2-3, T. Rogers 2-0, T. Hildenberger 3-1, R. Pressly 1-0
          • Batters Faced - L. Lynn 21, T. Rogers 3, T. Hildenberger 5, A. Reed 5, R. Pressly 3
          • 8TH INNING
            Gonzalez doubled to deep left, Correa scored20
          • 6TH INNING
            Davis singled to left, Correa scored, Davis to third on left fielder Rosario fielding error10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Ryan Pressly relieved Addison Reed
            • J. Marisnick: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Marisnick struck out swinging
            • D. Fisher: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Fisher struck out swinging
            • G. Springer: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Springer grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • C. Devenski Pitching:
            • L. Morrison: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Morrison fouled out to third
            • E. Escobar: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Escobar doubled to deep right
            • M. Kepler: Strike swinging, Ball, Kepler grounded out to first, Escobar to third
            • Ken Giles relieved Chris Devenski
            • B. Buxton: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Buxton grounded out to second
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Addison Reed relieved Trevor Hildenberger
            • J. Altuve: Altuve flied out to right
            • C. Correa: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Correa reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Gonzalez doubled to deep left, Correa scored
            • B. McCann: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, McCann struck out swinging
            • J. Davis: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Brad Peacock relieved Justin Verlander
            • J. Castro: Foul, Foul, Castro singled to center
            • B. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Mauer walked, Castro to second
            • M. Sano: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Sano reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Castro to third, Mauer to second
            • Chris Devenski relieved Brad Peacock
            • Ehire Adrianza ran for Miguel Sano
            • E. Rosario: Rosario grounded into double play shortstop to first, Adrianza out at second
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • T. Hildenberger Pitching:
            • D. Fisher: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Fisher grounded out to first
            • G. Springer: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Springer fouled out to catcher
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bregman grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • L. Morrison: Ball, Foul, Morrison popped out to shortstop
            • E. Escobar: Ball, Escobar lined out to right
            • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Ball, Kepler singled to left
            • B. Buxton: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Buxton lined out to shortstop
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • Taylor Rogers relieved Lance Lynn
            • C. Correa: Ball, Correa doubled to deep right
            • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez grounded out to third
            • B. McCann: Ball, McCann grounded out to second, Correa to third
            • Trevor Hildenberger relieved Taylor Rogers
            • J. Davis: Strike looking, Davis singled to left, Correa scored, Davis to third on left fielder Rosario fielding error
            • J. Marisnick: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Marisnick grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • J. Castro: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Castro doubled to deep right
            • B. Dozier: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Dozier reached on an infield single to pitcher, Castro to third
            • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Mauer struck out swinging
            • M. Sano: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Sano struck out swinging
            • E. Rosario: Rosario popped out to second
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Ball, Springer flied out to right
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
            • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Bregman caught stealing, catcher to second, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • E. Escobar: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Escobar struck out looking
            • M. Kepler: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
            • B. Buxton: Buxton flied out to shallow right
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Gonzalez grounded out to first
            • B. McCann: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, McCann walked
            • J. Davis: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Davis struck out looking
            • J. Marisnick: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Marisnick reached on an infield single to shortstop, McCann to second
            • D. Fisher: Fisher grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Mauer walked
            • M. Sano: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Sano struck out looking
            • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Rosario reached on fielder's choice to third, Mauer out at second
            • L. Morrison: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Rosario to second on wild pitch, Ball, Foul, Morrison popped out to third
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Bregman flied out to center
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Altuve reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • C. Correa: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • B. Buxton: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Buxton grounded out to first
            • J. Castro: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Castro struck out looking
            • B. Dozier: Ball, Foul, Ball, Dozier flied out to center
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gonzalez walked
            • B. McCann: McCann singled to left center, Gonzalez to second
            • J. Davis: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
            • J. Marisnick: Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Marisnick struck out swinging
            • D. Fisher: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Fisher struck out looking
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • L. Morrison: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Morrison struck out swinging
            • E. Escobar: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Escobar popped out to third
            • M. Kepler: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • L. Lynn Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Springer struck out looking
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Altuve lined out to center
            • C. Correa: Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Verlander Pitching:
            • B. Dozier: Foul, Dozier grounded out to third
            • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Mauer doubled to left center
            • M. Sano: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Sano struck out swinging
            • E. Rosario: Strike swinging, Rosario grounded out to second
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)