EditorsNote: Minor edit to delete extraneous question mark
Justin Verlander took over the league lead in victories and the Houston Astros completed a three-game series sweep of the visiting Seattle Mariners with a 3-1 win Sunday.
Verlander (15-4) carried a shutout into the seventh inning before surrendering a leadoff home run to Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager and subsequently departing the game. He surpassed 200 strikeouts in a season for the ninth time in his career and posted double-digit strikeouts (10) in a game for the seventh time this season, allowing three hits and two walks.
Verlander retired the first eight batters he faced, six via the strikeout, before issuing a two-out walk to nine-hole hitter Dylan Moore in the third inning. He worked around a pair of baserunners in the fourth, including the Mariners’ first batter to get a hit in 15 innings when Seager rolled an infield single off the third-base bag with two outs. Moore tripled to right field with two outs in the fifth, but Verlander rebounded to hold his 1-0 lead by getting Mallex Smith to pop out to shortstop.
The Seager homer was the 29th allowed by Verlander this season, one shy of his career high of 30 surrendered in 2016. It represented a minor blip in what was another strong outing from a Houston starter. Astros starters have allowed 21 earned runs over 105-plus innings covering 17 games, going 14-1 in that span. The Astros improved to 14-3 during that 17-game stretch.
Roberto Osuna notched his 25th save as Houston recorded its 11th series sweep of the season and improved to 12-1 against the Mariners and 38-12 against American League West rivals.
The Astros scuffled against Mariners left-hander Tommy Milone (1-6), scratching across solo runs in the fourth and sixth innings after Milone entered in relief of opener Sam Tuivailala with two runners on and no outs in the bottom of the second. Milone covered five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts to keep the red-hot Astros at bay.
But with Verlander thriving, all Houston needed was an infield RBI single from Carlos Correa in the fourth inning and a sacrifice fly from rookie Yordan Alvarez in the sixth to notch the victory. Alex Bregman scored both times, with Alvarez posting his 41st RBI in 41 games. Josh Reddick added a sacrifice fly to left field in the seventh, scoring Jake Marisnick with an insurance run.
—Field Level Media