Yankees rough up Justin Verlander, cruise to 10-3 win over Astros

The Yankees took Justin Verlander deep three times, including a three-run homer from Alex Verdugo, and got six solid innings from Luis Gil to beat the Houston Astros 10-3 on Tuesday night to open a three-game set in The Bronx.

With their fourth win in a row, New York improved to 24-13 on the season and into a tie with Baltimore for first in the AL East. Houston fell to 12-23 on the year, tied for last in the AL West.

Here are the takeaways…

-Verdugo turned on a 95 mph Verlander fastball for a line-drive three-run home run with one down in the bottom of the first inning (107.4 mph off the bat, 383 feet).

Verlander struggled with command early – falling behind Juan Soto before allowing a single and walking Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo in the first inning.

In the third, after Soto singled and Judge walked, Verdugo – batting cleanup against the right-hander – got another chance with two on in the fourth inning and delivered an RBI single to center. But the 41-year-old starter got Giancarlo Stanton and Rizzo swinging and Gleyber Torres to fly out to strand two.

Anthony Volpe – who hit the ball hard and to the warning track in each of his first two at-bats of the game – extended the Yanks’ lead to 6-1 in the fourth by driving a Verlander fastball for a two-run homer 354 feet to right field.

Verlander’s night got worse when Stanton smacked the first pitch of the fifth inning for a 421-foot line drive home run 118.8 mph off the bat.

The Bombers tagged the future Hall of Famer for seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks over 5.0 innings pitched.

– With one out in the top of the first, Gil’s down and 3-1 fastball to Kyle Tucker was rocketed into the second deck in right field (108.1 mph, 399 feet) to put the visitors ahead early. But after the homer, Gil retired 14 of the next 17 Astros batters – with four strikeouts and three walks – to get through five innings on 83 pitches (49 strikes).

The visitors had their share of hard-hit balls and had runners on base, but couldn’t get anything to fall for them off the Yankee starter. Gil’s final line: 6.0 innings, one hit, one run, four walks, five strikeouts on 97 pitches (57 strikes) to lower his ERA on the year to 2.92.

Coming off a good start in Baltimore, the 25-year-old righty has allowed just one run on three hits over his last 12.1 innings.

– Judge added an RBI single in the sixth off Astros reliever Tayler Scott, he finished the day 1-for-3 with two walks.

Soto went 3-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch to raise his average to. 329 on the season.

Jon Berti got his first RBI since returning from the IL with an RBI single in the seventh and went 2-for-4 on the day with a stolen base.

– Torres saw his four-game hitting streak end with an 0-for-4 day. After getting seven hits in a three-game span, the second baseman is now 4-for-25 in his last seven games and his average fell to .216  and OPS .556 on the year.

Ron Marinaccio was the first man out of the bullpen and worked through a leadoff walk for a clean seventh and a leadoff single for a clean eighth on 24 pitches (16 strikes). Michael Tonkin shut the door in the ninth, but a two-out walk and a throwing error by Berti gave Trey Cabbage the opportunity to drive in two with a single, Houston’s third hit of the night to give the game its final score.

Who was the MVP?

Verdugo with four RBI at the plate on 3-for-5 was on his way to clinching Tuesday night’s honors, but he officially sealed the deal with a pair of nice plays in left field, including a diving grab on a sinking line drive to end the sixth inning.


What’s next

The Yankees and Astros get together on Wednesday night in The Bronx.

New York left-hander Carlos Rodon (2-2, 3.68 ERA) climbs the hill at 7:05 p.m. Houston will start right-hander Spencer Arrighetti (0-3, 8.27 ERA).

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