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Astros beat Twins, weather; Rangers fall to Halos

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


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Justin Verlander struck out nine over seven dominant innings, Carlos Correa had two hits and scored twice and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 on Monday night.

Verlander (2-0) was in control throughout on a chilly night with a first-pitch temperature of 35 degrees. The right-hander gave up three hits and walked one while helping the reigning World Series champions match their best 11-game start by going 9-2.

Verlander improved to 11-1 in 14 games, including the playoffs, since being traded to Houston last season.

Ken Giles earned his first save of the season by getting Byron Buxton to ground out with a runner on third in the ninth.

Twins 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.

The cold night was all about the two starters, though.

Verlander allowed a one-out double in the first to Joe Mauer and then retired eight in a row before walking Mauer to lead off the fourth.

Verlander faced runners at the corners with no outs in the sixth after Brian Dozier’s swinging bunt, but he struck out Mauer and Miguel Sano before getting Eddie Rosario to pop out.

In eight regular season starts with Houston, Verlander is 7-0 with a 1.20 ERA.

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 Monday to go with nine strikeouts on 105 pitches.

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.


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. Manager Paul Molitor said he’s heard Santana wants to see if he can get approval to do more in his rehab.


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.


Angels off to best start since 1987 after 8-3 win at Texas


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Albert Pujols hit his 616th career homer, Martin Maldonado had two RBI singles along with an evasive move to score a run and the Los Angeles Angels extended their best start in more than three decades with an 8-3 win at Texas on Monday night.

The Angels are 8-3 for the first time since 1987, and fourth time in franchise history. Shohei Ohtani, the rookie two-way standout who was chosen AL Player of the Week, didn’t play a day after striking out 12 in seven scoreless innings against Oakland.

Pujols led off the fourth with a line shot just inside the pole in left, his second homer this season. He later added a single for his 2,981st career hit.

Jose Alvarez (1-0) retired the only two batters he faced after Angels starter Garrett Richards walked the bases loaded with one out in the fifth. Richards also struck out six in his 4 1-3 innings.

Doug Fister (1-2) struck out five with no walks while allowing three runs in his five innings.

Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez was emphatic in calling Maldonado out in the sixth, but the Angels catcher immediately pointed to manager Mike Scioscia for a replay challenge.

Maldonado came home on Chris Young’s double that ricocheted awkwardly off the wall down the left-field line. While the throw beat him to the plate, Maldonado went to both knees and reached around the attempted tag by Robinson Chirinos to make it 5-1.


Angels: RHP JC Ramirez will miss the rest of this season because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and Tommy John surgery has been recommended. … Scioscia said 2B Ian Kinsler “worked out well” before the game and was “very close.” He hasn’t played since the season opener because of a strained groin.

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor left the game in the first because of a left hamstring strain sustained when trying to scramble back to first base on a short flyout to right. He tweaked the hamstring stretching for a throw at second base at Oakland on Thursday, but played all three games over the weekend against Toronto.


Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre’s single in the fourth was his 3,060th career hit, matching Craig Biggio for 23rd on the all-time list. … Joey Gallo has 10 RBIs after driving in two runs for Texas. … Elvis Andrus homered in the ninth for Texas, his second of the season.


Ohtani could return to the lineup. He’s homered in three straight games as a designated hitter. Both teams start 1-0 left-handers, Tyler Skaggs for the Angels and Martin Perez for the Rangers.

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Posted by on Apr 10 2018. Filed under Sports.
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