Astros vs Guardians – Game Recap – August 4, 2022

Astros vs Guardians – Game Recap – August 4, 2022

CLEVELAND — — Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings for his MLB-leading 15th win, Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado each homered and had three RBIs and the AL West-leading Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Guardians 6-0 on Thursday night.

Verlander (15-3), returning from Tommy John surgery, extended his hitting streak to seven starts and tied Herb Pennock for 55th all-time with 241 victories. He gave up two hits, both singles, and struck out five.

In addition to leading the majors in wins, Verlander leads with a 1.73 ERA. The right-hander is 11-16 in his career at Progressive Field, where his 5.17 ERA is the highest of any ballpark in which he has played more than twice.

Will Smith, Ryne Stanek and Phil Mayton completed the trio, helping Houston move to within 1 1/2 games of the empty-net Yankees for the best record in the AL.

McCormick gave the Astros a 2-0 lead with a home run in the third and fifth against Cleveland starter Zach Plesak (2-10). Maldonado added a two-run double in the fifth against Nick Sandlin to make it 4-0.

McCormick and Maldonado struck again in the seventh with solo homers, the 11th of the season for both, off Kirk McCarthy. McCormick tied his career high with three hits.

The Guardians entered the day one game behind AL Central leader Minnesota and one game out of the final wild-card spot. Stephen Kwan, Josh Naylor and Austin Hedges each had hits in the loss.

Quan tied Boston’s JD Martinez for the AL’s longest hitting streak this year at 18 games. It’s also the longest streak by a rookie since Pittsburgh’s Ke’Bryan Hayes had 19 in 2020-21.

Plesac has been hitless since June 5 in Baltimore, allowing four runs, seven hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander is 0-6 in his last 10 starts and has dropped all five of his decisions in night games.

Houston left eight runners on base through the first three innings and struck out 11 overall.

Cleveland split the first four games of its seven home runs.

A SIGH OF RELIEF

The Astros picked up three significant veterans in 1B Trey Mancini, C Christian Vazquez and LHP Will Smith before the MLB trade deadline earlier this week, allowing manager Dusty Baker to take a deep breath.

“It’s actually fun to get it over with,” Baker said. “We’re in season for the dog days, but this year it seems like the dog came a little early.”

Vazquez ranks third in the AL with 74 starts behind the plate, the first 73 with Boston.

“Moving to a new team is a tough adjustment for catchers, which is where Vasquez is right now,” Baker said. “You have to learn the pitching coach’s philosophy, how to talk to pitchers and when to call a timeout to calm a guy down. It’s not easy.”

TRAINING ROOM

Astros: OF Kyle Tucker (non-COVID illness) was slated to bat fifth and play right field, but was a late scratch. Manager Dusty Baker said other Houston players were giving Tucker a “hard time” because he hurt his back on their last trip to Cleveland.

Guardians: RHP Aaron Sivale (sprained right wrist), who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 14, will make a rehab start Friday for Triple-A Columbus against Rochester. Manager Terry Francona said Civale’s goal is to go four innings.

NEXT

Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (9-4, 2.80 ERA) has earned the win in all three of his career appearances against Cleveland, posting a 2.81 ERA over two starts and one shutout.

Guardians: A starter will have to be recalled from Triple-A Columbus after LHP Kirk McCarty and RHP Bryan Shaw worked out of the bullpen Thursday for Cleveland.

——

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.