HOUSTON (AP) – Justin Verlander pitched eight dominant innings, and Carlos Correa, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick all homered to lead the Houston Astros to a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
Verlander (4-0) retired the first 10 batters before Jorge Polanco crushed a pitch into the second deck in right field in the fourth inning for the lone Twins run. Verlander retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
The right-hander gave up one run and four hits while striking out eight for his seventh-straight win dating back to last season.
In Verlander’s last three starts, he has given up three runs in 21 innings with 27 strikeouts.
In the second inning, Correa lined the first pitch he saw off the foul pole in right field for his third home run in the last four games.
Brantley extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run homer in the third inning, making it 3-0. Reddick added a two-run shot in the eighth.
This was the first time Kohl Stewart (0-1), who was making his 2019 season debut, had given up two home runs in a single outing in his career. It was his first appearance since last Sept. 25.
Stewart finished giving up five runs and eight hits, striking out one and walking three in six innings.
In the fourth, the Astros tacked on two more runs on a double by Robinson Chirinos, who later scored on a wild pitch, making it 5-1.
For the first time since April 19, the Astros’ starting pitcher didn’t allow a first-inning run. Houston had been outscored 13-0 in the first inning in the previous four games.
The Twins recalled Stewart and Fernando Romero from Triple-A Rochester after Tuesday’s game. Romero also made his season debut pitching two innings of relief, giving up two runs. To make room, Minnesota sent down outfielder Jake Cave and right-hander Tyler Duffey to Rochester.
Twins: LHP Martin Perez (2-0, 5-31 ERA) will look to stay perfect as he opens the series against the Orioles on Friday. Perez is 3-4 with a 5.44 ERA against them.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-3, 5.22 ERA) will open a four-game series against the Indians on Thursday. Cole is looking to bounce back from one of his worst starts of his career after giving up nine runs against the Rangers on April 20.
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