Verlander Dominant, Astros Top Twins

Astros ride 3 HR's, Verlander to take series over Twins

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April 24, 2019 - 11:14 pm

The Astros weren't kind to Twins pitcher, Houston native and Saint Pius X alum Khol Stewart Wednesday night. Stewart, drafted 4th overall in 2013 by the Twins, was recalled from Triple-A Rochester early Wednesday to make his hometown debut at Minute Maid Park. 

The Astros bats and Justin Verlander made the call up bitter-sweet for the 24-year old right-hander.

It's been a childhood dream of Stewart's to pitch at Minute Maid Park, but allowing homeruns to Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley within the first 3 innings Wednesday, the next time Stewart makes it down to Houston he might have a little trouble sleeping. Stewart on the night, allowed five earned runs on six hits in his five-innings of work, as the Astros cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Astros ace, Justin Verlander continued his mastery of the Minnesota Twins, tossing eight-innings of four-hit ball, walking none while striking out 8 on 98 pitches. Earning his 208th career victory on the mound.

Verlander now moves into the top-100 pitchers in all-time wins, ahead of Bob Lemon, Carl Mays and Hal Newhouser. 

Verlander was touched up by Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco in the fourth-inning, taking a 3-1 fastball to deep right field to put the Twins on the board, however the powerful right-hander didn't budge the rest of the night, allowing just 4 hits over 8-innings of work while striking out 8 and walking none. 

The Astros responded after the Polanco homerun, quickly in the home half of the fourth inning.

Josh Reddick worked a leadoff walk in the home half of the fourth, before Robinson Chirinos ripped an RBI double to the deep right field corner to put the Astros up 4-1. Later in the fourth, Khol Stewart, began to unravel. 

After getting Jake Marisnick to groundout to shortstop, which moved Chirinos to third, Stewart's 0-2 curve ball to George Springer wound up in the dirt and skipped to the backstop, allowing Chirinos to easily trot in from third to make it 5-1 Astros. 

The Astros weren't done however. Josh Reddick, wanting to hear the "Woo" birds, grooved a 94-mph two-seam fastball from Twins releiver Fernando Romero to the Crawford boxes, scoring Michael Brantley, who had reached after recording his 2nd hit of the game. 

The Astros have had to fight back in their fair share of games of late, but enjoyed an early lead Wednesday night after the bats supplied some early fireworks and Verlander doing his part on the mound. 

The Astros and Indians begin a four-game series Thursday night at Minute Maid Park, a reunion that Astros OF/DH Michael Brantley is looking forward too after spending the first 10-years of his big league career in Cleveland before joining the Astros this past offseason. 

NOTES:

The Astros have outhit their opponents in 19 of their 24 games.

The Astros are 15-5 when hitting a homerun.

Dating back to last season, the Astros have won 11 of their last 12 home games.

Astros ace Justin Verlander improved to 20-9 with a sub 3.00 ERA in 37 starts (246 K's/76 BB/247.2 IP) against the Twins for his career. 

Justin Verlander moves inside the top 100 pitchers in all-time wins (208) with his 4th victory of the 2019 season.