May 6, 2018 / 11:29 PM / 3 months ago

Diamondbacks hand Verlander first loss, 3-1

EditorsNote: changes to “unbeaten series” in second graf

Arizona center fielder A.J. Pollock had two hits and drove in two runs, and Houston right-hander Justin Verlander took his first regular-season loss since joining the Astros last August in the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 victory on Sunday in Phoenix.

Pollock tripled in a run in the sixth inning and continued home to score when Houston third baseman Alex Bregman was called for obstruction. He singled home an insurance run in the eighth inning as the Diamondbacks extended their streak of unbeaten series to 11. They are 10-0-1 in that span.

Bregman homered and Marwin Gonzalez had two hits for the Astros, who have lost five of six.

Daniel Descalso contributed two hits apiece for Arizona, and Pollock took the NL lead with 29 RBIs.

Brad Boxberger pitched around a leadoff walk and a one-out single in the ninth inning to strike out three for his 11th save.

Verlander (4-1) gave up three hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings, with eight strikeouts and three walks. He had not lost a regular-season start since a 10-4 defeat to Texas while with Detroit on Aug. 10, 2017, the last time he allowed more than three earned runs in a game.

Verlander had been 9-0 in 12 regular-season starts with the Astros and was 4-1 in their World Series run. He has 70 strikeouts, second in the American League behind teammate Gerrit Cole, who had 16 in the first game of the series Friday and has 77.

Descalso walked to open the pivotal sixth inning off Verlander before Pollock hit a line drive over center fielder George Springer’s head to score Descalso and tie it at 1. Pollock raced for third, and the throw skipped past third Bregman to the fencing in front of the Arizona dugout.

Pollock broke for home and was thrown out when the Astros recovered the ball, but third base umpire Mike DiMuro ruled that Bregman impeded Pollock’s path to the plate, so Pollock was ruled safe on obstruction to make it 2-1. Bregman’s right leg appeared to contact Pollack as he broke home.

Arizona right-hander Matt Koch (2-0) gave up six hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and no walks. He has a 2.31 ERA in four starts after replacing Taijuan Walker (elbow surgery) in the rotation. Koch used only 77 pitches.

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