CHICAGO (AP) — Justin Verlander was so good, he had no need for what he felt was a gift from Tim Anderson. The ace right-hander offered a quick thank you, and Anderson let him know what he thought of the gesture.
The two exchanged words in the fifth inning, a fiery moment in another dominant performance for Verlander in Houston’s 10-0 victory over the lowly Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
“I had everything working pretty well,” he said.
Carlos Correa homered twice and George Springer drove in four runs in Houston’s fourth straight victory. Brian McCann walked twice, scored two runs and contributed an RBI single in the Astros’ five-run fourth.
The White Sox managed just two hits in their 10th loss in 11 games. But the deep slide became a secondary concern after a scary scene in the sixth.
Reliever Danny Farquhar passed out in Chicago’s dugout after recording the last two outs in the top of the inning. He was attended to by team medical personnel and on-site EMTs. The White Sox said he regained consciousness before he was taken to a hospital by ambulance for further testing.
“It takes your breath away a little bit,” manager Rick Renteria said. “One of your guys is down there and you have no idea what’s going on. Again, the medical staff was like there right away the whole time and you know they called into the EMTs and somebody was already caring for him before they even got up.”
Verlander (3-0) pitched six innings of two-hit ball while improving to 2-0 with a microscopic 0.43 ERA in his last three starts. He also struck out five to reach 2,455 for his career, passing Sam McDowell for 38th on baseball’s all-time Ks list.
The 35-year-old Verlander was cruising along with a 5-0 lead when Anderson drew his ire after he singled in the fifth for Chicago’s first hit. He ran on a 3-0 pitch to Omar Narvaez that ended up being ball four.
Anderson then tried to steal third and Verlander picked him off, resulting in Narvaez being called out when both runners were on second. Already annoyed with Anderson celebrating his non-steal of second on Narvaez’s walk, Verlander started chirping.
“Very thankful that he gave me an out and that’s what I said and he didn’t like that comment,” Verlander said. “But, hey, it’s not my fault. That’s his fault. I’m not going to let the situation dictate what I do out there. I’m going to slow everything down and that’s what veterans can do. See the game, play the game, play the game the right way.
“He was a little overaggressive. I let him know it.”
The 24-year-old Anderson brushed off Verlander’s criticism.
“I don’t care what other people think, that don’t bother me,” he said.
The Astros grabbed control in the fourth. Springer had the big blow, a two-run double off James Shields (1-2) that turned into a Little League homer when Anderson’s relay throw hit Marwin Gonzalez for an error.
Correa hit a two-run shot off Farquhar in the sixth and a solo drive off Carson Fulmer in the ninth. It was his seventh career multihomer game.
Joe Smith, Collin McHugh and Ken Giles each got three outs to complete the shutout for the Astros.
Houston reliever Hector Rondon spent the previous five years with the Chicago Cubs, winning the World Series in 2016. He was non-tendered by the Cubs after last season and agreed to an $8.5 million, two-year contract with the champion Astros in December.
Rondon said his new team is better than his old one.
“I think (these) guys are way better, and not just because I’m here,” he said. “The way they play, the way they focus, the way they prepare is the difference. I think they’re better than the (Cubs).”
Astros: It was Giles’ first appearance since Saturday. He had been sidelined by back tightness.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (arthroscopic left shoulder surgery) is back in Chicago for a couple days for a checkup with a team doctor and a side session in front of pitching coach Don Cooper. He is expected to begin pitching in extended spring training games in Arizona next week.
Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (0-3, 3.52 ERA) tries for his first win of the season Saturday. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner tossed eight solid innings in a 2-1 loss at Seattle on Monday night. Right-hander Lucas Giolito (0-2, 5.50 ERA) makes his first start for the White Sox since April 12 after the team had three straight games postponed last weekend by inclement weather in Minnesota.
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