HOUSTON – The blast didn’t save the game, but it did prevent the White Sox from having their offensive effort on Tuesday night end up in the record books.
In fact, Jose Abreu’s seventh-inning long ball is the only thing that prevented it. Justin Verlander was just that good at Minute Maid Park.
The starter carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the first baseman’s solo homer broke it up, providing the visiting White Sox with their only hit of the game. Naturally, it was a far from enough against the formidable Houston offense, which already scored all the runs they’d need before then in a 5-1 win Tuesday night.
Verlander, of course, was the story of the evening. The starter for the Astros allowed just the run and hit to Abreu in the 7th while striking out 12 batters while walking just one. It’s an effort that continues Verlander’s incredible start to the season, one in which he’s racked up an 8-1 record with a 2.24 ERA.
With the win, the starter improves to 22-13 all-time against the White Sox, entering Tuesday’s game with a 3.71 ERA against them in 44 previous appearances. Naturally, that will drop when the gem this week is added.
Dylan Covey kept the Astros off the board the first three innings of the game but Yuli Gurriel took him out of the park for a solo homer in the fourth to open the scoring. After giving up a pair of walks to start the 5th inning, Covey was pulled for Aaron Bummer, and his struggles allowed the game to open up.
After a wild pitch let in a run, Bummer allowed a two-run double to Michael Brantley and then an RBI single to Carlos Correa to open up the lead to 5-0.
All of that was plenty for Verlander, who was denied a no-hitter by Abreu, but little else in another dominating win over the White Sox.