George Springer belted his team-leading 10th home run, and the Houston Astros completed an interleague series sweep of the visiting San Francisco Giants with a 4-1 win on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
Springer clubbed his homer off Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija (1-3) with one out in the fifth inning, delivering a two-run blast that drove home Tony Kemp and snapped a 1-all tie. Springer had just missed homering to right field in his first at-bat, driving Andrew McCutchen to the wall before the out was recorded.
Springer left no doubt in his third plate appearance, drilling a 1-2 slider 411 feet out to left field. Springer finished 2-for-4 with a single in the third.
Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (6-2) limited the Giants to one run on three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over six innings. It marked his fifth consecutive start with no more than one run allowed, with Verlander surrendering three earned runs in 35 innings this month.
The Giants struck first when Kemp misjudged a line drive off the bat of Gorkys Hernandez leading off the fourth inning, with Hernandez reaching third on the play and later scoring when Buster Posey produced a sacrifice fly to right field. Verlander needed 21 pitches to escape the fourth inning after retiring the first nine batters he faced in succession on just 40 pitches.
San Francisco didn’t hold the lead for long. After Astros shortstop Carlos Correa reached with a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth, Yuli Gurriel lifted a high fly ball to right field that McCutchen tracked following a long run, only to miss completely while attempting the catch. With two outs, Correa was running on the play and scored with ease, pulling the Astros even.
Three batters after Springer delivered his dinger, Correa dumped a single into left field that scored Jose Altuve with the third run of the fifth. Samardzija allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks with two strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.
Ken Giles recorded his ninth save for the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Giants were swept in a series for just the second time this season and have dropped eight of nine games on the road.
—Field Level Media