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Verlander Continues to Amaze. Stakes Dominant Claim to Cy Young, Leading the Astros’ 4-2 Win

Bregman’s homer provided the punch to give Verlander his 16th win with a near perfect 6-inning performance

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On a night when Justin Verlander solidified his claim to his third Cy Young award with a six-inning, no-hit, 10-strikeout performance, the Astros offense didn’t have to do much. But with the help of Alex Bregman’s 19th homer, the Astros secured Verlander’s 16th win.

The Astros started the scoring off Twins starter and former Astros Aaron Sanchez with one run on three singles in the second inning, with Mauricio Dubon recording the RBI hit.

The Stros added another run in the fourth when Trey Mancini doubled home Kyle Tucker, who doubled right before Mancini to get in scoring position.

And despite Yordan Alvarez hitting into a double play right before him, Alex Bregman added two more runs to the Astros total with a homer deep into the Crawford Boxes in the seventh inning off Trevor Megill.

Since July 28th, Bregman has a 1.128 OPS with seven homers, not including tonight’s three-hit night.

The fifth inning was full of drama and managerial miscues. Sanchez hit lead-off batter Jose Altuve in the thigh, and apparently, Altuve thought it was intentional. Both dugouts emptied out, although there were no physical confrontations.

When Sanchez next walked Yuli Gurriel on four pitches, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli came out to the mound, not knowing that his previous foray onto the field during the brief fracas was counted as a mound visit. The ump ruled that Sanchez would have to leave the game, and after arguing the call, Baldelli was ejected by umpire Todd Tichenor.

The Twins threatened in the eighth inning off lefty Will Smith, who put runners on first and third with one out. But Hector Neris came in to put out the flames with a double play to end the inning.

But in the ninth inning, the Twins got to Neris scoring their first run of the game after a walk to Luis Arraez and singles to Jorge Polanco and Jose Miranda with one out.

However, Astros product Gilberto Celestino struck out for the second out of the inning, but Max Kepler singled home Jorge Polanco to get the Twins to within two runs.

Dusty Baker took out Neris, and Bryan Abreu promptly walked Gio Urshela to load the bases. Luckily, weak-hitting Jake Cave struck out swinging on three pitches, recording the save for Abreu and preserving the win for the Astros and Justin Verlander.

The only baserunner against Verlander tonight was on a swinging strikeout on a wild pitch that allowed the runner to take first base.

The Twins and Astros go again tomorrow at 7:10 CT. The Twins have to face the other part of the Astros’ two-headed pitching monster, Framber Valdez. The Twins send Dylan Bundy against the AL’s leading team.

Box score and videos here.