Verlander, Astros beat Diamondbacks 5-4, extend AL West lead

HOUSTON (AP) Justin Verlander continued his strong September with another dominating outing Sunday.

Verlander struck out 11 in seven solid innings and the Houston Astros extended their AL West edge, topping the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4.

''Certainly, in the last couple of months this is his best start,'' Houston manager AJ Hinch said. ''He's had some pretty good ones as an Astro. When he comes out and sets that kind of tone and gets those swings and misses and the strikeouts it's a pretty special day for us.''

The Astros lead Oakland by 4 1/2 games in the division race. Arizona is 4 1/2 games behind in the NL West and four back for the second NL wild card.

Verlander (16-9) allowed one run on three hits.

''I just felt good,'' Verlander said. ''I had good control of the fastball. Mechanics felt in line; timing felt good. I was able to execute pretty well today.''

He matched his career high for strikeouts in a season with 269 - he passed teammate Gerrit Cole, who has 260, for most in the AL. Verlander also surpassed 200 innings for the 11th time in his career.

Verlander hasn't given up more than two runs in any of his three September starts.

Hinch said it all started with Verlander's fastball Sunday.

''His fastball starts everything off because then they have to really cheat to get to his fastball, and when they do that it opens up all sorts of opportunities for the secondary pitches,'' Hinch said. ''But it all starts off his fastball. He has good hand speed, he has good direction. He finishes that fastball and then all of a sudden, the breaking ball comes along with it. He had a lot of weapons to go to.''

Zack Greinke (14-10) allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Greinke has permitted at least three runs in four straight outings.

''Really good for the most part,'' Greinke said. ''The last inning wasn't that great. Just trouble getting them to strikeout. Just a lot of balls in play and that put a lot of pressure on the defense. Wasn't perfect but felt really good. They battled like a really good team would do.''

Tyler White hit a two-out, RBI double in the sixth to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.

Josh Reddick led off the seventh with a home run and Jose Altuve hit an RBI single later in the inning. Martin Maldonado's single in the eighth extended the lead to 5-1.

''The thing that makes him so good is that he nibbles,'' Reddick said of Greinke. ''He doesn't really leave too many pitches over the middle of the plate, so when he does, you can't miss them. We did a great job of that early on, not letting him get too far ahead of us. I think we came out and ambushed his fastball before he got to his offspeed stuff. I think that set the tone really well for us, but after that, we waited for him to go over the plate.''

The Diamondbacks scored three times in the ninth after Collin McHugh walked David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt singled with one out. Eduardo Escobar had a sacrifice fly and Daniel Descalso hit a two-run homer off Roberto Osuna.

Osuna struck out Ketel Marte to end it for his 18th save.

''I was really proud of these guys for fighting through what were some difficult circumstances there in the ninth inning,'' Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ''Their closer comes in, he's got a really nice track record, but we didn't shut down. There was a lot of good talk in the dugout about grinding away and fighting. You could see what happens when a couple of runners get on base, we just fell a little short.''

Peralta homered in the Arizona sixth.

ASTROS MOVE

Houston recalled OF Kyle Tucker from Triple-A Fresno. He hit .154 with three RBIs over two previous stints with the Astros this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (right elbow inflammation) threw a 27-pitch bullpen Saturday and ''felt good'', Lovullo said. ... LHP TJ McFarland (left elbow inflammation) will throw a bullpen either Sunday or Monday, Lovullo said.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (11-5, 3.05 ERA) will make his 31st start of the season Monday in the opener of a three-game home series against the Cubs. Corbin allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last outing Wednesday against the Rockies.

Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (3-1, 2.66) will make his fifth start of the season Monday in the first game of a three-game set against Seattle. Valdez will be looking to rebound after having his shortest start in his young career Tuesday against the Tigers where he allowed four runs in four innings.

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123456789RHE
000001003451
HOU94-55
10000121X5120
  • W: J. Verlander (16-9)L: Z. Greinke (14-10)S: R. Osuna (18)
  • HR: ARI - D. Descalso (13), D. Peralta (28), HOU - J. Reddick (15)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Jay RF40000021.271.335.353.688-1.0
A. Pollock CF40000010.261.320.473.793-0.5
D. Peralta LF32211110.298.356.523.8798.5
P. Goldschmidt 1B41100021.299.400.555.9541.0
E. Escobar 3B30010011.267.332.489.8200.5
D. Descalso DH31121110.244.363.448.8117.5
K. Marte 2B30000020.252.323.416.739-1.0
N. Ahmed SS30100001.246.301.434.7351.0
J. Mathis C20000022.207.284.268.552-1.0
a- I. Vargas PH10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
J. Murphy C00000000.207.249.383.6320.0
  • a-struck out for Mathis in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF-RF32200201.268.349.434.7836.0
J. Altuve 2B50210024.319.387.459.8452.0
A. Bregman 3B20000102.294.401.551.9522.0
Y. Gurriel 1B40100002.278.314.404.7191.0
T. White DH40110003.299.382.603.9853.0
C. Correa SS41200002.242.325.405.7304.0
J. Reddick RF-LF41211001.240.313.392.7057.0
M. Maldonado C40210011.226.280.360.6402.5
T. Kemp LF31000001.284.373.424.7963.0
J. Marisnick CF10000001.207.267.383.6500.0
    BATTING
    • HR - D. Peralta (28), D. Descalso (13)
    • SF - E. Escobar (8)
    • SH - K. Marte
    • RBI - D. Peralta (82), E. Escobar (83), D. Descalso 2 (57)
    • 2-Out RBI - D. Peralta (33), D. Descalso 2 (24)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Jay, E. Escobar, J. Mathis
    BATTING
    • 2B - T. White (11), C. Correa (19)
    • HR - J. Reddick (15)
    • RBI - J. Altuve (57), T. White (39), J. Reddick (44), M. Maldonado (44)
    • 2-Out RBI - J. Altuve (18), T. White (17)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Altuve 2 (2), A. Bregman, T. White 3 (3), C. Correa 2 (2), M. Maldonado
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - T. Kemp (9)
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - J. Jay (6)
    • DP - (Ahmed-Marte-Goldschmidt)
    • E - K. Marte (7)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    Z. Greinke (L, 14-10)6.18442213.201.070.0
    A. Bradley0.22000003.651.16-2.0
    B. Boxberger1.02101104.471.390.5
    PITCHERSIP
    Z. Greinke (L, 14-10)6.1
    A. Bradley0.2
    B. Boxberger1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Verlander (W, 16-9)7.031111112.670.9331.5
    R. Pressly (H, 17)1.00000102.671.113.5
    C. McHugh0.11221002.150.90-4.0
    R. Osuna (S, 18)0.21110112.651.035.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Verlander (W, 16-9)7.0
    R. Pressly (H, 17)1.0
    C. McHugh0.1
    R. Osuna (S, 18)0.2
    PITCHING
    • IBB - Z. Greinke (2)
    • HBP - A. Bradley (4)
    • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Greinke 98-64, A. Bradley 24-14, B. Boxberger 22-13
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Greinke 7-8
    • Batters Faced - Z. Greinke 27, A. Bradley 5, B. Boxberger 6
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 101-74, R. Pressly 7-6, C. McHugh 11-5, R. Osuna 11-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 4-6, R. Pressly 1-1, C. McHugh 1-0
    • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 25, R. Pressly 3, C. McHugh 3, R. Osuna 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    000001003451
    HOU94-55
    10000121X5120
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Jay RF40000021.271.335.353.688-1.0
    A. Pollock CF40000010.261.320.473.793-0.5
    D. Peralta LF32211110.298.356.523.8798.5
    P. Goldschmidt 1B41100021.299.400.555.9541.0
    E. Escobar 3B30010011.267.332.489.8200.5
    D. Descalso DH31121110.244.363.448.8117.5
    K. Marte 2B30000020.252.323.416.739-1.0
    N. Ahmed SS30100001.246.301.434.7351.0
    J. Mathis C20000022.207.284.268.552-1.0
    a- I. Vargas PH10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    J. Murphy C00000000.207.249.383.6320.0
    Total3045422136-----
    • a-struck out for Mathis in the 8th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF-RF32200201.268.349.434.7836.0
    J. Altuve 2B50210024.319.387.459.8452.0
    A. Bregman 3B20000102.294.401.551.9522.0
    Y. Gurriel 1B40100002.278.314.404.7191.0
    T. White DH40110003.299.382.603.9853.0
    C. Correa SS41200002.242.325.405.7304.0
    J. Reddick RF-LF41211001.240.313.392.7057.0
    M. Maldonado C40210011.226.280.360.6402.5
    T. Kemp LF31000001.284.373.424.7963.0
    J. Marisnick CF10000001.207.267.383.6500.0
    Total34512413318-----
      BATTING
      • HR - D. Peralta (28), D. Descalso (13)
      • SF - E. Escobar (8)
      • SH - K. Marte
      • RBI - D. Peralta (82), E. Escobar (83), D. Descalso 2 (57)
      • 2-Out RBI - D. Peralta (33), D. Descalso 2 (24)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Jay, E. Escobar, J. Mathis
      BATTING
      • 2B - T. White (11), C. Correa (19)
      • HR - J. Reddick (15)
      • RBI - J. Altuve (57), T. White (39), J. Reddick (44), M. Maldonado (44)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Altuve (18), T. White (17)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Altuve 2 (2), A. Bregman, T. White 3 (3), C. Correa 2 (2), M. Maldonado
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - T. Kemp (9)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - J. Jay (6)
      • DP - (Ahmed-Marte-Goldschmidt)
      • E - K. Marte (7)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      Z. Greinke (L, 14-10)6.18442213.201.070.0
      A. Bradley0.22000003.651.16-2.0
      B. Boxberger1.02101104.471.390.5
      Total8.01254331---
      PITCHERSIP
      Z. Greinke (L, 14-10)6.1
      A. Bradley0.2
      B. Boxberger1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (W, 16-9)7.031111112.670.9331.5
      R. Pressly (H, 17)1.00000102.671.113.5
      C. McHugh0.11221002.150.90-4.0
      R. Osuna (S, 18)0.21110112.651.035.5
      Total9.05442132---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (W, 16-9)7.0
      R. Pressly (H, 17)1.0
      C. McHugh0.1
      R. Osuna (S, 18)0.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • IBB - Z. Greinke (2)
      • HBP - A. Bradley (4)
      • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Greinke 98-64, A. Bradley 24-14, B. Boxberger 22-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Greinke 7-8
      • Batters Faced - Z. Greinke 27, A. Bradley 5, B. Boxberger 6
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 101-74, R. Pressly 7-6, C. McHugh 11-5, R. Osuna 11-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 4-6, R. Pressly 1-1, C. McHugh 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 25, R. Pressly 3, C. McHugh 3, R. Osuna 3
      • 9TH INNING
        Descalso homered to right center, Goldschmidt scored45
        Escobar hit sacrifice fly to center, Peralta scored25
      • 8TH INNING
        Maldonado singled to right, Correa scored15
      • 7TH INNING
        Altuve singled to right, Kemp scored14
        Reddick homered to right13
      • 6TH INNING
        White doubled to deep right, Springer scored, Gurriel to third12
        Peralta homered to right11
      • 1ST INNING
        Bregman grounded out to second, Springer scored, Altuve out at second01
      • 9TH INNING
        • Collin McHugh relieved Ryan Pressly
        • A. Pollock: Pollock grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Peralta: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Peralta walked
        • P. Goldschmidt: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Goldschmidt singled to deep left, Peralta to third
        • Roberto Osuna relieved Collin McHugh
        • E. Escobar: Escobar hit sacrifice fly to center, Peralta scored
        • D. Descalso: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Descalso homered to right center, Goldschmidt scored
        • K. Marte: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Marte struck out looking
        • Middle of the 9th (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Jake Marisnick in center field
        • Ryan Pressly relieved Justin Verlander
        • N. Ahmed: Ahmed flied out to center
        • Ildemaro Vargas hit for Jeff Mathis
        • I. Vargas: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Vargas struck out swinging
        • J. Jay: Ball, Jay grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Brad Boxberger relieved Archie Bradley
        • John Ryan Murphy catching
        • C. Correa: Correa doubled to shallow center, Correa to third on 2nd baseman Marte throwing error
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Reddick fouled out to third
        • M. Maldonado: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Maldonado singled to right, Correa scored
        • J. Marisnick: Ball, Marisnick lined out to third
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Springer walked, Maldonado to second
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Altuve struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 7TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • E. Escobar: Foul, Escobar flied out to right
        • D. Descalso: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Descalso struck out swinging
        • K. Marte: Strike looking, Marte grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick homered to right
        • M. Maldonado: Maldonado singled to left center
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Kemp reached on fielder's choice to second, Maldonado out at second
        • Archie Bradley relieved Zack Greinke
        • G. Springer: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Kemp stole second, Ball, Foul, Springer flied out to right
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Altuve singled to right, Kemp scored
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bregman hit by pitch, Altuve to second
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Strike looking, Gurriel singled to shallow right, Altuve to third, Bregman to second
        • T. White: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, White flied out to shallow right
        • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Jay: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Jay struck out swinging
        • A. Pollock: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Pollock grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Peralta: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Peralta homered to right
        • P. Goldschmidt: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Goldschmidt lined out to first
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Springer singled to deep left
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Altuve grounded out to shortstop, Springer to second
        • A. Bregman: Bregman intentionally walked
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Gurriel reached on fielder's choice to third, Springer to third, Bregman out at second
        • T. White: White doubled to deep right, Springer scored, Gurriel to third
        • C. Correa: Ball, Strike looking, Correa grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • D. Descalso: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Descalso walked
        • K. Marte: Strike (foul tip), Marte hit sacrifice bunt to pitcher, Descalso to second
        • N. Ahmed: Foul, Foul, Ahmed grounded out to second, Descalso to third
        • J. Mathis: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Mathis struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Reddick lined out to center
        • M. Maldonado: Maldonado flied out to deep right
        • T. Kemp: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Kemp popped out to shortstop
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • A. Pollock: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Pollock flied out to center
        • D. Peralta: Peralta singled to center
        • P. Goldschmidt: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Goldschmidt struck out swinging
        • E. Escobar: Strike swinging, Ball, Escobar flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gurriel flied out to center
        • T. White: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, White grounded out to third
        • C. Correa: Correa lined out to right
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • K. Marte: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Marte struck out looking
        • N. Ahmed: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ahmed singled to right
        • J. Mathis: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Mathis struck out swinging
        • J. Jay: Jay flied out to deep left
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • T. Kemp: Ball, Kemp flied out to deep right
        • G. Springer: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Springer walked
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul tip, Altuve struck out on foul tip
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Bregman popped out to shortstop
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • P. Goldschmidt: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Goldschmidt struck out looking
        • E. Escobar: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
        • D. Descalso: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Descalso popped out to third
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • T. White: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, White grounded out to pitcher
        • C. Correa: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Correa singled to center
        • J. Reddick: Reddick singled to right, Correa to third, Reddick out at second
        • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Jay: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Jay struck out swinging
        • A. Pollock: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Pollock struck out swinging
        • D. Peralta: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Peralta struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Greinke Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Foul, Springer reached on an infield single to third
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Altuve singled to right, Springer to third
        • A. Bregman: Bregman grounded out to second, Springer scored, Altuve out at second
        • Y. Gurriel: Gurriel flied out to center
        • End of the 1st (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)