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|Justin Verlander’s worst start with the Houston Astros might have been OK if not for Wilson Ramos.Ramos drove in four runs in the first two innings against Verlander and the Tampa Bay Rays went on to a 5-2 win over the Astros on Saturday.
”I wasn’t sharp Chris Hogan Jersey , but also I didn’t have luck on my side,” Verlander said. ”I made an adjustment during the third inning that I thought was good, but it was too little too late.”
Verlander (9-4) gave up the most runs (5) and hits (9) of any of his 23 starts since his trade to Houston late last summer. He struck out eight in a season-low five innings after coming in with a major league-leading 1.82 ERA – though it was 4.34 in six June starts. The Astros have lost his last three starts.
Matt Duffy finished with three hits, including two in the first two innings, to help the Rays win for the seventh time in eight tames to move to .500 (41-41) for the first time since June 1.
”I gave up three hard-hit balls, all to the same guy. The rest of `em, nobody hit the ball hard,” Verlander said.
Ramos got the Rays on the scoreboard with a two-run double in the first, and made it 5-0 with a two-run single in the second. Those two at bats summarized Verlander’s day.
”The first at bat, I put him in a 3-1 situation where Frank Gore Jersey , bases loaded, he knows a heater’s coming, and he hit it off the wall. So that’s my fault,” Verlander said. ”His next bat I got a ground ball up the middle on a slider, which is kind of what you’re looking for. But it found a hole.”
Tampa Bay has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five straight games for only the second time in franchise history.
”The way these guys are throwing right now, we’re tough to beat,” said Kevin Kiermaier, who scored in each of the first two innings.
Alex Bregman got the Astros on the board with a two-run homer in the sixth off Vidal Nuno. It was Bregman’s 16th home run and his fifth in six games.
”They’ve been throwing the ball well over there, and we haven’t really been able to put anything together,” Bregman said. ”Verlander was a little unfortunate today with some of the weak contact that went for hits Devin McCourty Jersey , but we’ve got to do a better job of putting up runs for him.
Nuno (2-0) got the win after pitching 4 2/3 innings of relief, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out four. Sergio Romo pitched ninth for his seventh save in 11 opportunities.
Ryne Stanek pitched the first inning for Tampa Bay, giving up a single to Jose Altuve, Houston’s only hit in the first four innings.
Adeiny Hechavarria made a fielding error on George Springer’s grounder in the top of the sixth just before Bregman’s homer. It ended a streak of 94 games and 319 chances in which the Rays’ shortstop had not committed a miscue. It was the longest errorless streak in franchise history for a shortstop. Hechavarria’s last error had come on July 30, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.
Astros: RHP Joe Smith (sore right elbow) will make what the Astros expect to be a final rehab appearance at Double-A Corpus Christi before being activated. … 1B Yuli Gurriel (paternity leave) is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday.
Rays: RHP Wilmer Font was placed on the 10-day disabled and RHP Hunter Wood was recalled from Triple-A Durham. Manager Kevin Cash said an optimistic timeframe has Font missing eight weeks. … Cash didn’t completely rule out RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) from returning after his first rehab start Tuesday night锟?for Class A Charlotte.
The series finale will be a matchup of two of baseball’s hottest pitchers. Houston RHP Charlie Morton (10-1, 2.54) has won three straight starts and has not given up an earned run in his last two. LHP Blake Snell (10-4, 2.31) did not give up a hit until the seventh inning of the Rays’ 11-0 win against Washington on Monday night.
The Chicago Bears are set to sign Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton, giving quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some playmaking targets.
Robinson told ESPN he plans to sign a three-year, $42 million contract, while two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Tuesday that Burton is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to a $32 million Jarvis Jenkins Jersey , four-year deal.
Chicago also agreed to a deal with Atlanta Falcons receiver Taylor Gabriel, and Miami Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey also plans to sign with the Bears, people familiar with their situations said.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deals won't be announced until the league year begins Wednesday.
The Bears also extended one-year tenders to receivers Cameron Meredith and Joshua Bellamy along with cornerback Bryce Callahan, giving them the right to match any offers they receive in free agency.
A 2015 Pro Bowl selection, Robinson was impressed by new Bears coach Matt Nagy and told ESPN, "I like what he did" as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Robinson also tweeted "What's good Chicago!!!?" with a picture of himself in a Bulls game jersey on Tuesday.
The Bears were looking to upgrade their struggling receiving corps and give Trubisky more dependable targets.
The versatile Burton gets a chance to be the No. 1 tight end on the Bears after catching 23 passes for 248 yards and five TDs in Philadelphia's championship season. He also threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles in the Eagles' Super Bowl victory over New England.
Robinson had a strong training camp last year and looked like he would be an integral part of the offense. But he tore the ACL in his left knee on Jacksonville's third play of the season and had surgery the following week. The Jaguars went on to win the AFC South and advance to the conference title game.
Robinson has missed 21 games in four seasons, though Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said at the NFL scouting combine he is "right on schedule" in his recovery from the torn ACL.
A second-round draft pick from Penn State, Robinson has 202 catches for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games. He had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 Mike Evans Jersey , establishing himself as one of the best receivers in franchise history. His production dropped in 2016, with 73 receptions for 883 yards and six scores.
But at 24, he's young and fills a big need for the rebuilding Bears. Chicago's leading receiver last year was Kendall Wright with 59 receptions for 614 yards.
Gabriel had 33 catches for 378 yards and a touchdown last season. He has 132 receptions for 1,819 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with Atlanta and Cleveland.
The Bears are banking on Trubisky's development to help them end a string of losing seasons. General manager Ryan Pace staked his reputation to the quarterback by trading up a spot with San Francisco last year to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick.
Parkey made 21 of 23 field goals in his lone season with Miami. He worked with new Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, after spending his first two years with the Eagles.
The Bears waived Connor Barth and signed Cairo Santos in November. Santos then suffered a season-ending groin injury, and Mike Nugent finished the season as Chicago's kicker.
The Bears fired coach John Fox after going 5-11 and finishing last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. The Bears have missed the playoffs 10 of the past 11 seasons and have not finished with a winning record since 2012.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report. Adidas Filip Forsberg Jersey