The Houston Astros left Minute Maid Park with a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday. Houston got a problem after its second baseman José Altuve received an undisclosed injury in the fourth inning at-bat despite the margin-wide victory.
Altuve fouled the ball pitched by Seattle reliever Wyatt Mills and tipped it to his groin. He went down for a while but would gather himself up, and finish his at-bat by hitting a single followed by an additional score later in the inning. The Venezuelan professional was replaced at second base to start the fifth.
The Astros later confirmed that Altuve had to leave the game after suffering soreness in his right groin. He made a total of two runs, two at-bats, and a single hit. Alongside him was pitcher Justin Verlander who returned with a solid pitching performance after almost two years away from attending games.
The spot Jose Altuve tipped the baseball…
Ow ow ow ow ow
— Stadium (@Stadium) May 4, 2022
Altuve, Verlander returns, seize home win for Houston
Altuve returned Monday not long after his injury that led the seven-time All-Star to miss 12 games. This year, he only batted .167, with an additional two home runs.
Alongside Altuve was Verlander who also had just returned from his Tommy John surgery. Post-surgery was promising and encouraging to see how Verlander ensure Houston’s third clean sweep victory over the visiting team.
“It’s just one start at a time,” the 39-year-old said. “This game will bring you down in a hurry so you can’t be complacent. But I would say it’s better to get off to a good start than a bad one, but I’ve just got to keep working.”
The 2017 World Series champion alongside third baseman Alex Bregman had double three on hits and RBIs.
“It’s something we’ve been trying to work on and build up smartly,” he added. “Obviously, we’re in a six-man rotation right now and just trying to get myself back to being able to be in that routine, and throw that many pitches. I think the next big hurdle is seeing how I respond from this. You never know what’s going to happen.”
The Astros tried a six-man rotation last week as a stretch of 33 games in 34 days to which some argued the extra would benefit Verlander’s return, especially as the professional pitcher only had a single throw game last year. Houston seems to be very unlikely to tune back its five-man rotation.
Regardless, post-surgery means recovering, rehab, and getting the muscle strength back to what it used to. The player confirmed that he is still undergoing rehab to build up his arm strength.
Mariners three clean sweep defeat
For the Mariners, the team had tried its best for ways to clinch victory. Seattle tried with consecutive single hits alongside two outs in the fourth inning as infielder Eugenio Suárez tried his fortune.
However, Verlander struck out the Venezuelan professional and proceeded through the next two innings and retired six until Seattle shortstop J. P. Crawford made a single to kick off the seventh.
“We got beat,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Not a good series for us. No way to sugarcoat it. It’s just where we’re at. We’ve got a good team, but we’re not playing particularly great right now. Rough road trip.”