CLEVELAND ( Associated Press) — Justin Verlander scored six shutout innings for his 15th win, the most in the major leagues, as the Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Guardians 6-0 on Thursday.
Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado scored three each to support the work of the Houston Aces.
Returning from elbow surgery, Verlander (15–3) extended his winning streak to seven starts and placed Herb Pennock in 55th place with a total of 241 wins. He delivered two hits, both singles, and had five strikeouts.
In addition to leading the majors to victory, Verlander is number one in the ERA at 1.73. The right-hander is 11-16 at Progressive Field, where his 5.17 ERA is the highest of any ballpark where he has appeared more than twice.
Will Smith, Raine Stanek and Phil Matton finished the mound, and Cleveland managed just three hits.
With the win, the Astros, the leader of the American League’s Western Division, came within a game and half of the Yankees, who rested for the day, are the leader in the Western Division and hold the best record in the same league.
McCormick took the Astros 2-0 with RBI singles in the third and fifth from Cleveland starter Zach Plesack (2-10).
Maldonado scored two runs with a double in the fifth from Nick Sandlin to make it 4-0.
For the Guardians, Dominican Amade Rosario 4-0 and Jose Ramirez 4-0. Venezuela Andres Jiménez 4-0.
For the Astros, Venezuela’s Jose Altuve 4-2. Cubans Yuli Guriel 5-0; Jordan Alvarez scored 2-1, one goal and Aldemis Diaz scored 4-0, one goal. Dominican Jeremy Pea 5-2. Honduran Mauricio Dubon 4-0. Puerto Rican Martin Maldonado 4-2, one run scored, three RBIs.