George Springer homered for the first time in more than a month, Justin Verlander produced his seventh scoreless start of the season and the Houston Astros rolled to a 7-0 victory over the host Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.
Springer capped a five-run sixth inning with his fifth career grand slam and first home run since June 20 against Tampa Bay. He jumped ahead in the count 3-0 against Angels right-hander Noe Ramirez, fouled off successive pitches and then bashed a curveball 400 feet to left-center field.
The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, with Josh Reddick opening the frame with a solo homer against left-hander Jose Alvarez. For Reddick, it was his 10th homer on the season and fourth against a left-handed pitcher.
Reddick struck out twice against Angels starter Nick Tropeano, who made his first start since June 10 following a stint on the 10-day disabled list.
Verlander (10-5) continued his domination of the Angels in Anaheim, Calif. He allowed five hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts over six shutout innings, extending his streak of scoreless innings at Angel Stadium to 23. Verlander has produced six double-digit strikeout games this season.
With the Astros leading 2-0 in the fourth, Verlander sidestepped his only stressful sequence. He allowed consecutive base hits to Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani, with Ohtani roping a one-out double to right field that advanced Upton to third base.
Verlander responded by striking out Ian Kinsler and Luis Valbuena in succession, retiring Kinsler on a 99.2 mph fastball before Valbuena fanned on a fastball clocked at 98.4 mph. Valbuena struck out twice.
Tropeano (3-5) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits and four walks over five innings. He recorded five strikeouts.
The Astros doubled their hit total two batters into the sixth, when Marwin Gonzalez followed the Reddick homer with a single off Alvarez, who departed one batter later following a walk to Tony Kemp. Ramirez retired only one batter, striking out rookie Kyle Tucker before Springer bashed his 16th dinger on the season to extend the lead to 7-0.
The Astros recorded their 10th shutout victory on the season.
--Field Level Media