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|Justin Verlander’s worst start with the Houston Astros might have been OK if not for Wilson Ramos.
Ramos drove in four runs in the first two innings against Verlander and the Tampa Bay Rays went on to a 5-2 win over the Astros on Saturday.
”I wasn’t sharp Will Hernandez Game Jersey , but also I didn’t have luck on my side,” Verlander said. ”I made an adjustment during the third inning that I thought was good, but it was too little too late.”
Verlander (9-4) gave up the most runs (5) and hits (9) of any of his 23 starts since his trade to Houston late last summer. He struck out eight in a season-low five innings after coming in with a major league-leading 1.82 ERA – though it was 4.34 in six June starts. The Astros have lost his last three starts.
Matt Duffy finished with three hits, including two in the first two innings, to help the Rays win for the seventh time in eight tames to move to .500 (41-41) for the first time since June 1.
”I gave up three hard-hit balls, all to the same guy. The rest of `em, nobody hit the ball hard,” Verlander said.
Ramos got the Rays on the scoreboard with a two-run double in the first, and made it 5-0 with a two-run single in the second. Those two at bats summarized Verlander’s day.
”The first at bat, I put him in a 3-1 situation where Billy Price Youth Jersey , bases loaded, he knows a heater’s coming, and he hit it off the wall. So that’s my fault,” Verlander said. ”His next bat I got a ground ball up the middle on a slider, which is kind of what you’re looking for. But it found a hole.”
Tampa Bay has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five straight games for only the second time in franchise history.
”The way these guys are throwing right now, we’re tough to beat,” said Kevin Kiermaier, who scored in each of the first two innings.
Alex Bregman got the Astros on the board with a two-run homer in the sixth off Vidal Nuno. It was Bregman’s 16th home run and his fifth in six games.
”They’ve been throwing the ball well over there, and we haven’t really been able to put anything together,” Bregman said. ”Verlander was a little unfortunate today with some of the weak contact that went for hits Josh Allen Youth Jersey , but we’ve got to do a better job of putting up runs for him.
Nuno (2-0) got the win after pitching 4 2/3 innings of relief, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out four. Sergio Romo pitched ninth for his seventh save in 11 opportunities.
Ryne Stanek pitched the first inning for Tampa Bay, giving up a single to Jose Altuve, Houston’s only hit in the first four innings.
Adeiny Hechavarria made a fielding error on George Springer’s grounder in the top of the sixth just before Bregman’s homer. It ended a streak of 94 games and 319 chances in which the Rays’ shortstop had not committed a miscue. It was the longest errorless streak in franchise history for a shortstop. Hechavarria’s last error had come on July 30, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.
Astros: RHP Joe Smith (sore right elbow) will make what the Astros expect to be a final rehab appearance at Double-A Corpus Christi before being activated. … 1B Yuli Gurriel (paternity leave) is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday.
Rays: RHP Wilmer Font was placed on the 10-day disabled and RHP Hunter Wood was recalled from Triple-A Durham. Manager Kevin Cash said an optimistic timeframe has Font missing eight weeks. … Cash didn’t completely rule out RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) from returning after his first rehab start Tuesday night锟?for Class A Charlotte.
The series finale will be a matchup of two of baseball’s hottest pitchers. Houston RHP Charlie Morton (10-1, 2.54) has won three straight starts and has not given up an earned run in his last two. LHP Blake Snell (10-4, 2.31) did not give up a hit until the seventh inning of the Rays’ 11-0 win against Washington on Monday night.
Once Clayton Kershaw exited, the Chicago Cubs put a positive ending on a 2-6 road trip.
Anthony Rizzo’s three-run double and Addison Russell’s two-run homer highlighted a seven-run seventh inning as Chicago broke loose late and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-5 on Thursday.
The Cubs pounded out 15 hits, including a season-best four by Rizzo. Russell drove in a season-high four runs in the final regular season meeting between the teams that played each other in the NL Championship Series the last two years.
”Over the course of this road trip everyone has been fine-tuning their approaches,” Russell said. ”Today you see a clear example of it being executed. It’s nice to see the ball fly.”
The teams met seven times in 10 days Cheap Calvin Ridley Jersey , with the Cubs winning four games over the two series.
”We’re doing this without everybody right now, too, and that’s the even better part,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ”We have part of our bullpen but not everybody. I give these guys a lot of credit. During this little stretch they’ve been above and beyond.”
The Dodgers staked Kershaw to a 3-1 lead before he departed after five innings because of a pitch limit.
”He’s that good where he can rehab in the big leagues,” Rizzo said. ”It’s amazing.”
The Cubs jumped on reliever Walker Buehler (4-2), who arrived earlier in the morning from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he had been set for a rehab assignment. Albert Almora Jr. homered on Buehler’s second pitch and Russell’s sacrifice fly tied it at 3 in the sixth.
”Some bad pitches to good hitters,” Buehler lamented.
The Cubs didn’t let up in the seventh when they batted around.
Jason Heyward’s pinch-hit RBI double gave them the lead for good, 4-3.
Almora followed with a popup to first base. Max Muncy used his glove as a shield against the sun in a cloudless sky, but the ball dropped for a single and scored Kyle Schwarber James Daniels Jersey , who reached on a walk.
Rizzo stroked a double to right-center field off Erik Goeddel, extending the lead to 8-3. Russell followed with a two-run shot on an 0-2 pitch that made it 10-3. The Cubs’ seven runs were the most by a Dodgers’ opponent in an inning this season.
”I just want to stay consistent,” said Rizzo, who has 53 RBIs this season. ”That’s what I’ve shown over the last few years and that’s what I want to get back to.”
Steve Cishek (2-0) got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Muncy hit his team-leading 17th homer in the third and Justin Turner added a two-run shot in the ninth, giving the Dodgers a major league-leading 53 homers in June and tying the franchise record set last year. Enrique Hernandez drove in a pair of two-out runs with a single in the second and a double in the fourth.
Kershaw tossed five innings of one-run ball in his second start since coming off the disabled list with a lower back strain. He allowed four hits, struck out six and didn’t walk anyone while restricted to 68 pitches.
”Today was a good step and hopefully next time the restrictions should be off,” Kershaw said. ”I kept the pitch count down and didn’t walk anybody. There’s definitely some things to be positive about.”
Cubs starter Jose Quintana gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, the fourth time in five starts this month he hasn’t completed six innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked three.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session that didn’t go well when he experienced pain. He will return to Chicago to be re-evaluated and RHP Tyler Chatwood will start in his place on Saturday. Chatwood was activated from the paternity list. … INF Kris Bryant (shoulder) has yet to be cleared for baseball activities, although it’s hoped he will come off the DL next week. … RHP Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder inflammation) will pitch for Triple-A Iowa on Friday and if it goes well, he could rejoin the rotation.
Dodgers: RHP Josh Fields (right shoulder inflammation) went on the DL.
Buehler had the quickest turnaround of any of his teammates who faced a day game after a night game. The rookie right-hander arrived in Oklahoma City for a rehab assignment on Wednesday only to board a 6:15 a.m. flight Thursday to LA. He came off the DL where he had been nursing a rib microfracture. The Dodgers needed him with four others unavailable in the bullpen. Buehler Cheap Lamar Jackson Jersey , who has been starting this season, refused to use the travel as an excuse. ”These guys are good. You can’t make pitches like that,” he said. ”I didn’t execute.” Manager Dave Roberts said Buehler would toss a bullpen session and then return to the rotation.
Cubs: LHP Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.39 ERA) starts Friday against Minnesota in the opener of an eight-game homestand. It will be his seventh start to go with 18 relief appearances.
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 5.30) starts Friday against Colorado. He is 0-3 with a 7.52 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies.
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