Situational hitting

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HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander continued his strong September with another dominating outing Sunday.Verlander struck out 11 in seven solid innings and the Houston Astros extended their AL West edge Eddie Murray Jersey , topping the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4.“Certainly, in the last couple of months this is his best start,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. “He’s had some pretty good ones as an Astro. When he comes out and sets that kind of tone and gets those swings and misses and the strikeouts it’s a pretty special day for us.”The Astros lead Oakland by 4½ games in the division race. Arizona is 4½ games behind in the NL West and four back for the second NL wild card.Verlander (16-9) allowed one run on three hits.“I just felt good,” Verlander said. “I had good control of the fastball. Mechanics felt in line; timing felt good. I was able to execute pretty well today.”He matched his career high for strikeouts in a season with 269 — he passed teammate Gerrit Cole, who has 260, for most in the AL. Verlander also surpassed 200 innings for the 11th time in his career.Verlander hasn’t given up more than two runs in any of his three September starts.Hinch said it all started with Verlander’s fastball Sunday.“His fastball starts everything off because then they have to really cheat to get to his fastball, and when they do that it opens up all sorts of opportunities for the secondary pitches,” Hinch said. “But it all starts off his fastball. He has good hand speed, he has good direction. He finishes that fastball and then all of a sudden, the breaking ball comes along with it. He had a lot of weapons to go to.”Zack Greinke (14-10) allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Greinke has permitted at least three runs in four straight outings.“Really good for the most part,” Greinke said. “The last inning wasn’t that great. Just trouble getting them to strikeout. Just a lot of balls in play and that put a lot of pressure on the defense. Wasn’t perfect but felt really good. They battled like a really good team would do.”Tyler White hit a two-out, RBI double in the sixth to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.Josh Reddick led off the seventh with a home run and Jose Altuve hit an RBI single later in the inning. Martin Maldonado’s single in the eighth extended the lead to 5-1.“The thing that makes him so good is that he nibbles,” Reddick said of Greinke. “He doesn’t really leave too many pitches over the middle of the plate, so when he does Kevin Gausman Jersey , you can’t miss them. We did a great job of that early on, not letting him get too far ahead of us. I think we came out and ambushed his fastball before he got to his offspeed stuff. I think that set the tone really well for us, but after that, we waited for him to go over the plate.”The Diamondbacks scored three times in the ninth after Collin McHugh walked David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt singled with one out. Eduardo Escobar had a sacrifice fly and Daniel Descalso hit a two-run homer off Roberto Osuna.Osuna struck out Ketel Marte to end it for his 18th save.“I was really proud of these guys for fighting through what were some difficult circumstances there in the ninth inning,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Their closer comes in, he’s got a really nice track record, but we didn’t shut down. There was a lot of good talk in the dugout about grinding away and fighting. You could see what happens when a couple of runners get on base, we just fell a little short.”Peralta homered in the Arizona sixth.ASTROS MOVEHouston recalled OF Kyle Tucker from Triple-A Fresno. He hit .154 with three RBIs over two previous stints with the Astros this season.TRAINER’S ROOMDiamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (right elbow inflammation) threw a 27-pitch bullpen Saturday and “felt good”, Lovullo said. … LHP TJ McFarland (left elbow inflammation) will throw a bullpen either Sunday or Monday, Lovullo said.UP NEXTDiamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (11-5, 3.05 ERA) will make his 31st start of the season Monday in the opener of a three-game home series against the Cubs. Corbin allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last outing Wednesday against the Rockies.Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (3-1, 2.66) will make his fifth start of the season Monday in the first game of a three-game set against Seattle. Valdez will be looking to rebound after having his shortest start in his young career Tuesday against the Tigers where he allowed four runs in four innings. The San Diego Padres have played the spoiler role to acclaim against the Seattle Mariners.With Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory on Wil Myers’ tiebreaking double off Mariners closer Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning, the Padres have won all three games between the teams this season.“For us, it was a good team win. A lot of good guys did a lot of good things http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-jonathan-schoop-jersey ,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Edwin Díaz, probably the best reliever in baseball, to step up and score off of him in the ninth inning was great.”Article continues below ...The Padres, who are in last place in the National League West, will go for a sweep of the two-game series and a sweep of the season series Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field.Myers has been a Mariners killer in his career, hitting .377 in 61 at-bats against them with seven doubles and two home runs.Green also praised Myers for his defense at third base. He made a strong play and even stronger throw to end the seventh inning after the Mariners had runners at second and third with no outs and couldn’t score.“For me, it was the best day I’ve seen from Wil in a while. The best hit probably all day was the line out to left field; that ball was crushed. Then the big hit of Díaz to win the game, of course. I was really pleased with what I saw. And at third base, he put in a lot of work, getting in early before anyone else was around. He did a lot of really nice things (Tuesday).”The Mariners are still clinging to hope in the American League’s wild-card chase, but their chances are dimming by the day. Seattle is 8 1/2 games behind Oakland for the final playoff berth with 18 games remaining in the regular season.The Mariners have scored just five runs in three games against the Padres this season. They were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position Tuesday and stranded nine on base — including three in the eighth inning. They also loaded the bases in the second before Dee Gordon grounded into an inning-ending double play.“Situational hitting, we didn’t execute, and we didn’t get any big hits,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.The Padres might have lost Luis Urias Zach Britton Jersey , considered one of the second base prospects in baseball, for the rest of the season.Urias pulled his left hamstring trying to beat out an infield grounder in the eighth inning and had to be helped off the field by Green and trainer Mark Rogow.“I don’t think it looks particularly good, given the amount of time we have left in the season,” Green said. “We’ll see how he responds to treatment. Hopefully it’s nothing big, but he’s doubtful at this point in time.”Padres rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi (7-8, 3.59 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday against Mariners lefty Wade LeBlanc (8-3, 3.56).Lucchesi beat the Mariners 8-3 on Aug. 29 in San Diego, allowing one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings while tying his career-high with nine strikeouts. LeBlanc is 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in six career appearances against his former team, including one start. LeBlanc was a second-round pick of the Padres in 2006 and made his major league debut with them in 2008, staying in San Diego through 2011.

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