ANAHEIM, California – Justin Verlander is not prone to sentimentality.
More excited about getting out of a jam than getting his 2,500th strikeout, Verlander put both his flair for the moment and his enduring greatness on full display Wednesday night in a classic masterpiece on the mound.
The right-hander threw a five-hitter for his first shutout in three years and Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer as the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-0.
Verlander (5-2) was superb in ending his two-game skid, finishing with seven strikeouts to reach 2,500 for his career. He walked one and lowered his ERA from 1.21 to 1.05.
Mike Trout went 0-for-4. Shohei Ohtani was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, going down swinging on three pitches to start the ninth for Verlander’s 2,500th strikeout. But it wasn’t time to reflect, not for the intensely focused Verlander with Pujols coming up to bat.
“I don’t know if 2,500 punches is the one to do that,” Verlander said. “I know I’m creeping up on 200 wins, so maybe that’s an opportunity to really kind of sit down and think about the gravity of some things, but it’s something I’m working on.”
Rangers 5, Mariners 1
In Seattle, Bartolo Colon laughed off having Jean Segura’s line drive that hit him in the stomach, allowing four hits in 7ῆ shutout innings.
Marlins 6, Dodgers 5
In Miami, Los Angeles erased a four-run deficit and still lost its sixth game in a row when J.T. Realmuto’s tiebreaking homer in the sixth.
Red Sox 6, Athletics 4
In Boston, Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer, J.D. Martinez added a two-run shot and the Red Sox avoided their first series sweep this season by beating Oakland.
Braves 4, Cubs 1
In Atlanta, Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in Ozzie Albies with the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning to send the hosts past Chicago.
Phillies 4, Orioles 1
In Baltimore, Nick Pivetta (3-2) tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts as Cesar Hernandez homered for Philadelphia.
Pirates 3, White Sox 2
In Pittsburgh, Josh Bell hit a tiebreaking pinch-hit single in the seventh.
Indians 6, Tigers 0
In Detroit, Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer (3-3) struck out 10 in eight innings and allowed four hits.
Cardinals 7, Twins 5
In Minneapolis, Dexter Fowler reached base four times and drove in two runs to spark St. Louis.
Blue Jays 12, Mets 1
In New York, J.A. Happ allowed only two runners over seven innings while fanning 10 and pitching two-hit ball.
Rays 5, Royals 3
In Kansas City, C.J. Cron homered and scored three runs and Tampa Bay completed a three-game sweep of the woeful Royals.
Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 2
In Phoenix, Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Christian Yelich and Tyler Saladino all homered in the first four innings for Milwaukee.
Reds 6, Giants 3
In San Francisco, Scooter Gennett homered a half-inning after the second baseman saved two runs with a diving catch on a difficult popup, helping Cincinnati avoid a sweep.
Yankees at Nationals — ppd.