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Verlander stellar again as Astros drop Twins

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park. Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
Houston Astros designated hitter Michael Brantley (23) hits a two run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning Wednesday, April 24, at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports2 / 2

HOUSTON -- Justin Verlander gave up four hits and a run over eight innings to pick up his fourth win, and Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick each homered to lead the Houston Astros to a 7-1 victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

It was the seventh straight victory for Verlander (4-0) dating back to last season. He struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while improving to 20-9 all-time against the Twins and becoming the first Houston starter to pitch past the seventh inning this season.

Brantley, Reddick and Robinson Chirinos each had two hits for Houston, which won the series 2-1.

Jorge Polanco homered for Minnesota. Kohl Stewart (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Rochester earlier on Wednesday, took the loss. The fourth overall selection of the 2013 MLB Draft from St. Pius X High School in Houston gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out one over six innings.

Correa gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the second with his fifth home run of the season, an opposite-field drive off the right field foul pole.

The Astros increased their lead to 3-0 in the third when Alex Bregman doubled high off the wall in left and then scored on Brantley's fifth home run of the season to right.

Verlander retired the first 10 batters he faced but that streak was snapped in the fourth when Polanco homered deep into the second deck in right-center to make it 3-1.

Houston extended its lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Chirinos doubled down the right field line to drive in Reddick, who had walked. Chirinos was wild pitched to third and then scored on another wild pitch.

Reddick ended the scoring with a two-run homer to left in the ninth off reliever Fernando Romero, driving in Brantley who opened the inning with a single.

Verlander left after throwing 98 pitches, 69 for strikes. He turned the game over to Framber Valdez who pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two to go with a walk.

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