MINNEAPOLIS – Justin Verlander missed out on his fourth no-hitter by five outs but still faced the minimum through eight innings, and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 5-0 Tuesday night for their eighth straight win.
Twins third baseman Gio Urshela singled to right field with one out in the eighth to end Verlander’s bid. The 39-year-old right-hander, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, finished the eighth by getting Royce Lewis to ground into a double play.
Verlander was vying to tie Sandy Koufax for second on the career no-hitter list. Nolan Ryan holds the record with seven.
After pitching just once in 2020 and missing the entire 2021 season with an elbow injury, Verlander has been stellar so far in 2022. Tuesday’s start moved him to 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA through six starts.
Verlander struck out five and walked two on 89 pitches. Blake Taylor pitched the ninth for Houston.
Verlander was perfect through four innings before allowing a leadoff walk to Jorge Polanco in the fifth. Verlander got Urshela to tap into a double play one pitch later to retire Polanco.
The right-hander walked Minnesota’s No. 9 hitter, Gilberto Celestino, in the sixth, but Celestino was later thrown out at second base.
Jeremy Peña drove in the first two runs for the Astros. Alex Bregman also had two RBIs, including a double to left in the fifth that drove in Jose Altuve.
Twins starter Joe Ryan (3-2) struggled to find the strike zone. The right-hander issued a walk in each of his five innings and allowed four runs.
ASTROS AVOID CORREA
Houston players caught up with former teammate Carlos Correa, who signed a $105.3 million, three-year deal with Minnesota this spring after seven seasons with the Astros.
Correa was added to the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a right middle finger contusion, retroactive to May 6. He won’t play in the series against Houston. He is hitting .255 with 11 RBIs in 24 games.
“I was really looking forward to it,” Correa said. “I’m very happy I get to see them again, get to spend some time with them. They were not teammates. They were family.”
Twins: INF Luis Arraez and RHP Dylan Bundy both cleared COVID-19 protocols but were not active for Tuesday’s game as they remained on the COVID-19 injured list. … LHP Danny Coloumbe left Tuesday’s game in the sixth inning with left hip inflammation.
RHP José Urquidy (2-1, 4.56 ERA) takes the mound for Houston, one start after tossing six scoreless innings against Detroit. Minnesota counters with RHP Chris Archer (0-0), who is still looking for his first win in a Twins uniform.
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