September 16, 2018 / 9:48 PM / 2 months ago

Verlander pitches Astros past sinking Diamondbacks

George Springer singled and scored twice, and Josh Reddick homered for a second consecutive game as the Houston Astros claimed the rubber match of their three-game interleague series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-4 victory on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (16-9) worked seven strong innings, producing his 11th double-digit strikeout game on the season. Verlander increased his season total to 269 and matched his career high set in 2009 with the Detroit Tigers.

The Astros stretched their lead over the Oakland Athletics in the American League West to 4 1/2 games after the Athletics fell 5-4 earlier on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Reddick smacked his 15th home run leading off the seventh inning, golfing a curveball from Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke (14-10) into the right-field seats for a 3-1 lead. The Astros pulled ahead an inning earlier against Greinke and added another insurance run later in the seventh when second baseman Jose Altuve delivered a sinking liner to right that dropped in front of Jon Jay and scored Tony Kemp. Altuve recorded his second multi-hit game of the series.

Springer had leadoff singles in the first and sixth innings, scoring on a double-play grounder for a 1-0 lead and a Tyler White double that lifted the Astros to a 2-1 lead. After posting four hits and three runs on Saturday, Springer went 2-for-3 and scored twice in the series finale.

Greinke allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. It marked the second time over his last three starts that Greinke surrendered four earned runs.

Verlander fanned the first five batters he faced and seven of his first nine. He tallied at least one strikeout in each of his seven innings of work and was one strike shy of six shutout innings before Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta drilled a fastball out to right for his 28th homer.

Still, Verlander allowed just three hits and one walk. He threw 101 pitches, 74 for strikes.

Designated hitter Daniel Descalso slugged a two-run, two-out homer in the ninth off Astros closer Roberto Osuna that cut the deficit to one run. Still, the Diamondbacks have dropped three consecutive series and fell to 4-11 in September.

—Field Level Media

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