Springer scores in the ALDS

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Verlander, Astros Take Pivotal ALDS Game One

Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid to the sixth as the Astros offense caught fire

October 05, 2018 - 6:01 pm
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Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) - Justin Verlander did not allow the Indians a hit for five innings to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park. In a series where offense was thought to be at a premium, the Astros came up with plenty on a 12-hit, 4-home run day to best the Indians by a final score of 7-2. The Indians were held to just three hits, all of them being singles.

"I can't say enough positive things about our at-bats today against Corey Kluber and others. We had really great at-bats throughout today. We had a great game plan going in. The guys stuck to it and executed. Kluber is not easy," Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said.

"And certainly when you get into these games and emotions start to take over, you can get off that game plan. But the guys did a really good job of having a good at-bat and letting the next guy have a good at-bat."

Verlander exited the game with the bases loaded after 5.1 innings pitched. Reliever Ryan Pressly would allow two of the inherited runners to score leaving Justin with a final line of two hits, two earned runs, two walks and seven strikeouts. Lance McCullers Jr. would pitch the eighth, followed by Roberto Osuna to finish the ninth.

"That inning was spiraling a little bit. J.V. really only made one bad pitch the entire game. I think the Lindor single, he would take back and do it a little different. Ran out of gas a little bit against Brantley. And all we asked Pressly to do was come in against Ramirez and Encarnacion. 60-plus homers, almost 70 homers with those guys," Hinch said.

"He can really spin the ball, which in that part of the order we liked. He spun the ball in the dirt to start the at-bat against Ramirez. But one thing about Press that we've seen since we traded for him, he's not going to cave. He's not going to cower. He's not going to panic. He's been everything that we could have asked for and more."

Offensively, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Martin Maldonado homered. Also, Springer, Bregman, Josh Reddick and Tyler White all each had two hits on the day. Carlos Correa was the only Astro to not get on-base.

"We've got to fight and claw and battle and compete and do it again tomorrow and then do it again the next day. We're a confident group, but we're not going to get cocky and think -- expectations are that we want to win the game," Hinch said.

"Who contributes in that? I think that's the beauty of our team. It could be anybody. Tomorrow it might be somebody different. And please somebody mention Maldonado's homer. That was a big one as well even though it felt like a tack-on run. Those tack-on runs this time of year are pretty huge. So tip a hat to him for that one."