Springer's slam, Verlander's K's send Astros past Halos, 7-0

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Justin Verlander hadn't earned a win in the past six starts of his All-Star season. George Springer hadn't homered or contributed many game-changing hits in the last month.

Those are the closest things to crises in the charmed world of the Houston Astros, and the two stars dramatically ended their droughts in another blowout.

Springer hit a grand slam while the Astros batted around in the sixth inning, and Verlander ended his winless skid with 11 strikeouts over six dominant innings in Houston's 7-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

Just about everything clicked for the defending World Series champions in their fourth win in five games, extending the second-best start in franchise history to 66-35. Houston earned its 10th shutout victory of the season, matching Boston for the AL lead.

Four batters after Josh Reddick homered to lead off the sixth, Springer delivered his fifth career grand slam on a full count against reliever Noe Ramirez. Springer had driven in only five runs in his previous 24 games.

''That's obviously big for our momentum,'' said Springer, who hit his homer with the same bat he used to get a hit at the All-Star Game in Washington. ''You could feel the wind come out of the stadium.''

Verlander (10-5) yielded five hits while getting ample support in his third win over Los Angeles already this season. He has thrown 23 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts at Angel Stadium, including a five-hit shutout on May 16.

''I like the aesthetic of pitching here,'' Verlander said.

Verlander leaned heavily on his fastball, including a 99-mph dart in the fourth to strike out Ian Kinsler, his longtime teammate in Detroit, with two runners on. Kinsler is impressed by the continuing excellence of his fellow 30-something veteran.

''He's been pretty fastball-dominant this year, and he's got a good fastball and he uses it well,'' Kinsler said.

Verlander hadn't won since June 14 despite setting career bests for strikeouts, ERA and opponents' batting average before the break. The All-Star right-hander walked two and allowed just one runner to reach third base.

While pitching victories are often considered an antiquated, misleading statistic, they matter to Verlander and many other starters.

''We play this game for wins, man,'' he said. ''You can say all you want - you did your job, kept your team in the game, yada yada - but it's nice to get a win.''

Shohei Ohtani had two doubles as the Angels (49-50) dropped below .500 for the first time since the season opener. Los Angeles has scored one run in the first 18 innings after the break in what's looking like yet another lost season for a big-budget franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since 2009.

Mike Trout went 0 for 2 with two walks, leaving him hitless in three consecutive games for only the second time in two months.

OHTANI SLUGS

Ohtani had multiple extra-base hits for the third time in his rookie season. His fourth-inning double was the Halos' only extra-base hit off Verlander. The Japanese two-way sensation doubled again in the ninth against Tony Sipp, boosting his average to .283. He has five extra-base hits in 13 games since returning from the disabled list.

''He's got a really quick bat, and we saw that today on some good pitches inside,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''He's got a lot of strength in his bat, and he's a tough out when he gets into good counts. Looks like he's got the pull extra-base hit down pat. We have our hands full when he's up to bat.''

SLICK NICK

Nick Tropeano (3-5) pitched five innings of two-hit ball in his return from injury. Tropeano walked four and recorded five strikeouts in his first start since June 10. The former Astros prospect missed the past 31 games with right shoulder inflammation, spending his second stretch on the disabled list this season.

BUTTERFINGERS

Los Angeles committed three errors for only the second time this season. Even Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons misplayed an easy grounder from Marwin Gonzalez, who eventually scored Houston's second run in the fourth inning on Tony Kemp's double.

SHOHEI THROWS

Ohtani played catch in the outfield for the third straight day as he continues a deliberate throwing progression. He hasn't pitched since June 6 due to a sprained elbow ligament, but the Halos are hopeful he'll be back on the mound this season.

UP NEXT

Astros: Lance McCullers Jr. (10-4, 3.77 ERA) hopes to return to his dominant June form after one mediocre start before the break. He has 119 strikeouts in 112 1/3 innings.

Angels: Andrew Heaney (5-6, 3.78 ERA) will match his career high with his 18th start already this season. He pitched eight innings of four-hit ball in May to beat the Astros for the first time.

---

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123456789RHE
HOU66-35
001105000750
LAA49-50
000000000073
  • W: J. Verlander (10-5)L: N. Tropeano (3-5)
  • HR: HOU - J. Reddick (10), G. Springer (16)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF41141111.249.335.421.7569.5
A. Bregman 3B-2B30000100.283.387.529.9162.0
J. Altuve 2B20000211.329.394.466.8601.5
J. Davis 3B10000000.196.315.261.5760.0
Y. Gurriel 1B40010001.305.334.436.7701.0
J. Reddick RF51111023.261.331.424.7555.0
M. Gonzalez SS32100110.233.313.355.6683.5
T. Kemp DH21110201.300.397.433.8306.0
M. Stassi C31000113.254.337.450.7871.5
K. Tucker LF41100014.143.211.171.3821.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    K. Calhoun RF30000132.185.237.315.552-0.5
    A. Simmons SS30000002.306.364.433.7970.0
    J. Marte 1B10000001.235.284.412.6960.0
    M. Trout CF20000220.305.451.5951.0461.0
    J. Upton LF20100111.252.345.442.7871.5
    J. Blash LF10000011.091.192.091.283-0.5
    S. Ohtani DH40200002.283.362.524.8864.0
    I. Kinsler 2B40100014.221.280.366.6450.5
    L. Valbuena 1B-3B30000024.202.247.340.587-1.0
    a- J. Briceno PH10100000.316.333.500.8331.0
    M. Maldonado C40000034.228.290.340.630-1.5
    D. Fletcher 3B-SS40200002.253.292.349.6422.0
    • a-singled for Valbuena in the 9th
    BATTING
    • 2B - T. Kemp (7)
    • HR - G. Springer (16), J. Reddick (10)
    • SF - Y. Gurriel (6)
    • RBI - G. Springer 4 (51), Y. Gurriel (53), J. Reddick (31), T. Kemp (18)
    BATTING
    • 2B - S. Ohtani 2 (12)
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Gonzalez-Altuve-Gurriel; Davis-Bregman-Gurriel)
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Simmons-Kinsler-Valbuena; Simmons-Kinsler-Valbuena)
    • E - A. Simmons (6), L. Valbuena 2 (6)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Verlander (W, 10-5)6.050021102.190.8526.5
    J. Smith1.00000004.100.993.0
    B. Peacock1.00002102.981.021.5
    T. Sipp1.02000101.850.991.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Verlander (W, 10-5)6.0
    J. Smith1.0
    B. Peacock1.0
    T. Sipp1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    N. Tropeano (L, 3-5)5.02214504.581.345.5
    J. Alvarez0.02331013.291.29-6.0
    N. Ramirez0.11221114.421.27-3.5
    T. Cole1.20002102.250.921.5
    O. Drake2.00000007.011.796.0
    PITCHERSIP
    N. Tropeano (L, 3-5)5.0
    J. Alvarez0.0
    N. Ramirez0.1
    T. Cole1.2
    O. Drake2.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - T. Sipp (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 92-63, J. Smith 12-7, B. Peacock 21-10, T. Sipp 21-13
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 3-3, J. Smith 1-2, B. Peacock 1-0
    • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 24, J. Smith 3, B. Peacock 4, T. Sipp 5
    PITCHING
    • WP - N. Tropeano (2)
    • IBB - N. Tropeano (2)
    • HBP - N. Ramirez (5)
    • Pitches-Strikes - N. Tropeano 75-42, J. Alvarez 12-4, N. Ramirez 18-9, T. Cole 23-12, O. Drake 19-14
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - N. Tropeano 4-7, T. Cole 3-0, O. Drake 5-1
    • Batters Faced - N. Tropeano 22, J. Alvarez 3, N. Ramirez 4, T. Cole 6, O. Drake 6
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    HOU66-35
    001105000750
    LAA49-50
    000000000073
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF41141111.249.335.421.7569.5
    A. Bregman 3B-2B30000100.283.387.529.9162.0
    J. Altuve 2B20000211.329.394.466.8601.5
    J. Davis 3B10000000.196.315.261.5760.0
    Y. Gurriel 1B40010001.305.334.436.7701.0
    J. Reddick RF51111023.261.331.424.7555.0
    M. Gonzalez SS32100110.233.313.355.6683.5
    T. Kemp DH21110201.300.397.433.8306.0
    M. Stassi C31000113.254.337.450.7871.5
    K. Tucker LF41100014.143.211.171.3821.5
    Total3175728714-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      K. Calhoun RF30000132.185.237.315.552-0.5
      A. Simmons SS30000002.306.364.433.7970.0
      J. Marte 1B10000001.235.284.412.6960.0
      M. Trout CF20000220.305.451.5951.0461.0
      J. Upton LF20100111.252.345.442.7871.5
      J. Blash LF10000011.091.192.091.283-0.5
      S. Ohtani DH40200002.283.362.524.8864.0
      I. Kinsler 2B40100014.221.280.366.6450.5
      L. Valbuena 1B-3B30000024.202.247.340.587-1.0
      a- J. Briceno PH10100000.316.333.500.8331.0
      M. Maldonado C40000034.228.290.340.630-1.5
      D. Fletcher 3B-SS40200002.253.292.349.6422.0
      Total32070041323-----
      • a-singled for Valbuena in the 9th
      BATTING
      • 2B - T. Kemp (7)
      • HR - G. Springer (16), J. Reddick (10)
      • SF - Y. Gurriel (6)
      • RBI - G. Springer 4 (51), Y. Gurriel (53), J. Reddick (31), T. Kemp (18)
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Ohtani 2 (12)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Gonzalez-Altuve-Gurriel; Davis-Bregman-Gurriel)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Simmons-Kinsler-Valbuena; Simmons-Kinsler-Valbuena)
      • E - A. Simmons (6), L. Valbuena 2 (6)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 10-5)6.050021102.190.8526.5
      J. Smith1.00000004.100.993.0
      B. Peacock1.00002102.981.021.5
      T. Sipp1.02000101.850.991.5
      Total9.07004130---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 10-5)6.0
      J. Smith1.0
      B. Peacock1.0
      T. Sipp1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      N. Tropeano (L, 3-5)5.02214504.581.345.5
      J. Alvarez0.02331013.291.29-6.0
      N. Ramirez0.11221114.421.27-3.5
      T. Cole1.20002102.250.921.5
      O. Drake2.00000007.011.796.0
      Total9.0576872---
      PITCHERSIP
      N. Tropeano (L, 3-5)5.0
      J. Alvarez0.0
      N. Ramirez0.1
      T. Cole1.2
      O. Drake2.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - T. Sipp (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 92-63, J. Smith 12-7, B. Peacock 21-10, T. Sipp 21-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 3-3, J. Smith 1-2, B. Peacock 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 24, J. Smith 3, B. Peacock 4, T. Sipp 5
      PITCHING
      • WP - N. Tropeano (2)
      • IBB - N. Tropeano (2)
      • HBP - N. Ramirez (5)
      • Pitches-Strikes - N. Tropeano 75-42, J. Alvarez 12-4, N. Ramirez 18-9, T. Cole 23-12, O. Drake 19-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - N. Tropeano 4-7, T. Cole 3-0, O. Drake 5-1
      • Batters Faced - N. Tropeano 22, J. Alvarez 3, N. Ramirez 4, T. Cole 6, O. Drake 6
      • 6TH INNING
        Springer homered to center, Gonzalez, Kemp and Stassi scored70
        Reddick homered to right center30
      • 4TH INNING
        Kemp doubled to shallow right, Gonzalez scored20
      • 3RD INNING
        Gurriel hit sacrifice fly to center, Tucker scored, Springer to third10
      • 9TH INNING
        • O. Drake Pitching:
        • J. Davis: Foul, Strike swinging, Davis lined out to left
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Gurriel grounded out to third
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Reddick grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Tony Sipp relieved Brad Peacock
        • S. Ohtani: Ball, Ohtani doubled to deep right
        • I. Kinsler: Kinsler flied out to center
        • Jose Briceno hit for Luis Valbuena
        • J. Briceno: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Briceno singled to left, Ohtani to third
        • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
        • D. Fletcher: Ball, Briceno to second on wild pitch, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Fletcher fouled out to first
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Jefry Marte at first base
        • Jabari Blash in left field
        • Oliver Drake relieved Taylor Cole
        • K. Tucker: Ball, Tucker grounded out to second
        • G. Springer: Ball, Springer grounded out to third
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J.D. Davis at third base
        • Brad Peacock relieved Joe Smith
        • K. Calhoun: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Calhoun walked
        • J. Marte: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Marte grounded into double play third to second to first, Calhoun out at second
        • M. Trout: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball
        • J. Blash: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Blash struck out looking
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • T. Cole Pitching:
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez struck out looking
        • T. Kemp: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Kemp walked
        • M. Stassi: Stassi grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Kemp out at second
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
        • Joe Smith relieved Justin Verlander
        • L. Valbuena: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Valbuena flied out to deep right
        • M. Maldonado: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Maldonado grounded out to third
        • D. Fletcher: Strike looking, Fletcher flied out to shallow right
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Jose Alvarez relieved Nick Tropeano
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Foul, Ball, Reddick homered to right center
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Gonzalez singled to left
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Kemp walked, Gonzalez to second
        • Noe Ramirez relieved Jose Alvarez
        • M. Stassi: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt to third, Ball, Ball, Ball, Stassi walked, Gonzalez to third, Kemp to second
        • K. Tucker: Ball, Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Tucker struck out swinging
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Springer homered to center, Gonzalez, Kemp and Stassi scored
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Bregman hit by pitch
        • Taylor Cole relieved Noe Ramirez
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Altuve walked, Bregman to second
        • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel reached on fielder's choice to second, Bregman to third, Altuve to second on 3rd baseman Valbuena fielding error
        • J. Reddick: Reddick grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Gurriel out at second
        • Middle of the 6th (5 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • M. Trout: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Trout walked
        • J. Upton: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul tip, Upton struck out on foul tip
        • S. Ohtani: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ohtani lined out to right
        • I. Kinsler: Strike looking, Kinsler grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • N. Tropeano Pitching:
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bregman grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Altuve struck out looking
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Gurriel flied out to left
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • M. Maldonado: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
        • D. Fletcher: Strike looking, Ball, Fletcher reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • K. Calhoun: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Calhoun struck out swinging
        • A. Simmons: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Simmons fouled out to first
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • N. Tropeano Pitching:
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Gonzalez safe at first on shortstop Simmons fielding error
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Gonzalez to second on 3rd baseman Valbuena fielding error, Ball, Kemp doubled to shallow right, Gonzalez scored
        • M. Stassi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Stassi struck out swinging
        • K. Tucker: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Tucker flied out to left
        • G. Springer: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 2 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • M. Trout: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
        • J. Upton: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Upton singled to center
        • S. Ohtani: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ohtani doubled to deep right, Upton to third
        • I. Kinsler: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Kinsler struck out swinging
        • L. Valbuena: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Valbuena struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • N. Tropeano Pitching:
        • K. Tucker: Tucker singled to right
        • G. Springer: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Springer walked, Tucker to second
        • A. Bregman: Bregman grounded out to third, Tucker to third, Springer to second
        • J. Altuve: Altuve intentionally walked
        • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel hit sacrifice fly to center, Tucker scored, Springer to third
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Pickoff attempt to third, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • D. Fletcher: Ball, Fletcher singled to center
        • K. Calhoun: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Calhoun struck out swinging
        • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Simmons grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Fletcher out at second
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • N. Tropeano Pitching:
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gonzalez walked
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Gonzalez to second on wild pitch, Strike looking, Kemp lined out to center
        • M. Stassi: Ball, Stassi lined out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Upton: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Upton walked
        • S. Ohtani: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ohtani reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Upton out at second
        • I. Kinsler: Strike looking, Ball, Kinsler reached on an infield single to second, Ohtani to second
        • L. Valbuena: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Valbuena struck out swinging
        • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Maldonado struck out on foul tip
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • N. Tropeano Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Springer flied out to left
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Altuve lined out to shortstop
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Gurriel grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • K. Calhoun: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Calhoun struck out swinging
        • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Simmons lined out to second
        • M. Trout: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)