Yonder Alonso

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Justin Verlander to make his Astros debut tonight

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SEATTLE — Justin Verlander will make his debut for the Houston Astros in the second game of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

Verlander was dealt to the Astros by the Detroit Tigers on Thursday in exchange for a trio of prospects: right-handed pitcher Franklin Perez, outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers.

In 28 starts for Detroit this year, the veteran right-hander went 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA, his highest ERA since 2014.

“It’s a new experience for him because he’s doing a lot of firsts all over again,” Astros manage A.J. Hinch said. “He describes it as being a new kid in school again, and that’s exactly how he’s been. He’s been getting to know a lot of guys, there’s been a lot of conversations, sort of a quick acclimation to him. …

“New uniform, new catcher, new environment, new manager, new everything, same Justin Verlander.”

Verlander has been excellent against the Mariners in two starts this season, going 12 2/3 innings and posting a 2.12 ERA, allowing nine hits with three walks and 19 strikeouts. However, he has not recorded a decision against Seattle this season.

For his career, Verlander is 10-8 with a 3.15 ERA in 22 starts against the Mariners.

“Hopefully we can bring a championship to a city that really could use something like that right now,” Verlander said, referring to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. “Hopefully I can be a part of that and we can give this city something to rally around.”

Verlander’s addition adds a somewhat unwelcome storyline in the series for Seattle manager Scott Servais.

“I would have been fine if he stayed in Detroit,” Servais said. “He’s a very good pitcher. He’s very accomplished. We’ve certainly seen him this year at the top of his game.”

Seattle’s Kyle Seager (7-for-19, two homers, eight RBIs) has enjoyed some success against the former American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner. Mike Zunino (0-for-6) and Yonder Alonso (0-for-5) are still looking for their first hits against him.

Verlander’s Astros debut comes with the Mariners in the thick of the American League wild-card race. After Houston’s 6-2 victory on Monday, Seattle (69-69) is 2 1/2 games out in the second AL wild-card spot. Meanwhile, Houston (84-53) is comfortably leading the AL West by 13 1/2 games.

Even so, Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel said Monday that the big lead in the division only means the team can see the finish line. With the Astros having started a 10-game road trip on Monday, it is possible Houston could clinch before returning home.

“I know the clubhouse guys want us to celebrate on the road,” he quipped. “They don’t want to clean up the mess at home.”

Lefty Ariel Miranda (8-6, 4.85 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday for Seattle.

Miranda has pitched a career-high 150 1/3 innings in 2017, but he has struggled since July 1, going 1-2 with a 6.84 ERA in 10 starts during that span.

He has also struggled against Houston, going 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA in four starts this season. Miranda has a career record of 1-2 with a 4.99 ERA in five starts vs. Houston.

Astros slugger George Springer has feasted upon Miranda this season, going 4-for-13 (.308) with four homers, sporting an eye-popping 1.631 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. Meanwhile, Miranda has quieted fellow Cuban Yuli Gurriel, who has gone 3-for-13 (.231) against his countryman.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Marlins 8, Padres 6: Getting tired of watching Giancarlo Stanton smash dingers? No? Good, neither is he. Stanton slugged a pair for the Marlins on Friday night, collecting No. 48 and 49 with a two-run, 462-footer in the first inning and a solo shot in the third.

His second blast was considerably shorter, cresting just 365 feet to put the Marlins up 3-0:

Stanton’s two-homer, five-RBI night and Marcell Ozuna‘s go-ahead home run helped cover a shaky start from Adam Conley, allowing the Marlins to slip back over .500 with their 64th win of the year. Stanton will go for home run No. 50 on Saturday to become the first Major League player with a 50-homer season since Chris Davis in 2013.

Mariners 2, Yankees 1: Following Thursday’s Yankees-Tigers melee, Friday’s loss to the Mariners was quick and quiet by comparison. Gary Sanchez, who is appealing his four-game suspension, went 1-for-5 with a base hit, while the rest of the lineup drummed up just four hits against Ariel Miranda and the Mariners’ bullpen. Yonder Alonso powered the win with a solo homer in the 11th inning, keeping Seattle just half a game under the second wild card spot.

Mets 4, Nationals 2: All things considered, Jacob deGrom is having himself a pretty nice season. The right-hander tied a career-high 14 wins during the Mets’ series opener, striking out 10 and holding the Nats to one run over 7 2/3 innings. It might have little to no implications for the playoffs, but the win was a nice breather for the team, who entered Friday with a 2-9 record over their last 11 games.

Phillies 7, Cubs 1: If you haven’t been following Rhys Hoskins’ sprint toward one of MLB’s all-time rookie home run records, now is the time to tune in. Hoskins cranked his ninth home run in 16 games, putting the Phillies up 2-1 in the first inning with a monster shot off of opposing starter Jose Quintana.

Cesar Hernandez snapped the tie in the next inning with a three-run triple, his sixth of the season. The Cubs, meanwhile, collected and promptly stranded 10 baserunners en route to their 59th loss of the season.

Twins 6, Blue Jays 1: Byron Buxton converted the Twins’ win from a potential nail-biter to a veritable blowout, going 3-for-5 with three hits, a pair of RBI singles and a run scored. His most impressive feat, however, was out in center field:

Orioles 16, Red Sox 3: Speaking of blowouts, the Orioles trounced the Red Sox with more runs than they’d seen in any single win this season. That was almost entirely due to a seven-run spread in the fifth inning, featuring one of three run-scoring errors from the Red Sox and forcing Rick Porcello to take his worst loss of the year, with 11 runs, nine hits and four strikeouts scattered over 4 2/3 innings.

Indians 4, Royals 0: Ryan Merritt has been yanked every which way this season, ping-ponging between Triple-A and the big leagues at least seven times since the start of the year. Thankfully for the Indians, he’s looked dominant in nearly every start he’s made in the majors, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The rookie left-hander fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting the Royals to seven hits, a walk and three strikeouts as Jason Vargas struggled to his eighth loss of the year.

Reds 9, Pirates 5: What Robert “Bob” Stephenson lacked in an exciting nickname, he made up for on the mound during Friday’s win over the Pirates. Stephenson exited after 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits and distributing a career-best 11 strikeouts while the Reds came one run shy of their 10th double-digit win in 2017.

Braves 5, Rockies 2: The Braves played spoiler to the Rockies’ play for the second wild card spot, keeping them 3.5 games above the Brewers with a decisive 5-2 win in Friday’s series opener. They hit Chad Bettis fast and early, building a three-run lead on Matt Kemp‘s 15th home run of the year, Kurt Suzuki‘s 15th home run of the year, and a pair of supplemental runs from Ender Inciarte and Brandon Phillips.

White Sox 3, Tigers 2: In the end, a pitcher’s duel between the hard-hitting Justin Verlander and Miguel Gonzalez could only be settled one way: with a line drive walk-off RBI single from Yolmer “El del Pinonal” Sanchez.

Rays 7, Cardinals 3: For Ryan Sherriff’s big league debut, there was no opponent more fitting than Kevin “Outlaw” Kiermaier. Sherriff went three innings strong against the surging Rays, besting the Outlaw twice with a pair of force outs in the fifth and a groundout in the seventh and finishing his patrol with two hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The Outlaw had the last laugh, however, as the Rays’ four-run third inning gave them all the cushion they needed to take their 64th win of the season.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3: Brandon Crawford shone at the plate on Friday, which, if you’ve followed the incredible obstacles he’s had to overcome in the last few months, was both unexpected and encouraging. The Giants’ shortstop went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, helping bring the club within one run of tying the game. They couldn’t quite topple the Diamondbacks, however, who needed only one three-run blast from Paul Goldschmidt — his 30th of the year — to establish the lead.

Athletics 3, Rangers 1: Kendall Graveman and Nick Martinez duked it out for seven strong innings apiece, issuing a collective 13 strikeouts as their respective offenses struggled to back their efforts with an equally impressive showing at the plate. The A’s finally snapped the 1-1 tie in the seventh, banking on Khris “Khrush” Davis’ 36th homer of the year (and second of the night) and plating an insurance run with Matt Chapman‘s RBI single to force the Rangers to a two-game deficit in the wild card standings.

Astros 2, Angels 1: What Cameron Maybin lacked at the plate, he more than made up for on the field. The Angels’ speedy left fielder exhibited Gold Glove potential on Friday, snaring a pair of fly balls in the corner to keep the score knotted 1-1.

At the end of the day, defense (or lack thereof) was also responsible for the Angels’ loss, as Parker Bridwell lobbed a pitch that skipped well past the plate, allowing the Astros to hustle home for a go-ahead run in the sixth.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: The Dodgers improved to 8-2 in their last 10 games with another dominant performance over the Brewers this weekend, catapulting themselves to a league-best 91 wins on six innings of one-run ball from Kenta Maeda and three home runs from Domingo “Showmingo” Santana, Logan “Logie Bear” Forsythe and Yasiel “Wild Horse” Puig. The win handed Milwaukee their third loss in five games, keeping them a distant third in the NL wild card race.

Mariners acquire Yonder Alonso from Athletics

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The Mariners acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Athletics in exchange for outfield prospect Boog Powell, the team announced Sunday. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners claimed Alonso on revocable waivers prior to working out a trade with the A’s, who were looking to clear space for outfielder Matt Olson.

Alonso, 30, slashed .266/.369/.527 with 22 home runs and an .896 OPS during his sophomore season in Oakland. He received his first All-Star nomination after heading into the midseason break with a .275 average and 20 home runs, and is on track for a career-best year after racking up 2.1 fWAR through his first 100 games. He’ll likely be used in a first base platoon with Danny Valencia, who’s mashing well against lefties despite holding a .266/.317/.418 batting line and just 12 homers on the year.

Powell, 24, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma in mid-July after swatting a disappointing .194/.310/.194 through his first 23 games in the majors. His numbers inflated to a promising .340/.416/.490 through 58 games in the Pacific Coast League, but he has yet to prove he can rake consistently at the highest level.