UPDATE: Astros now lead 4-0 in the fifth

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UPDATE: That 2-0 lead described below is now 4-0. When Glasnow left the game McKay allowed Michael Brantley to reach on a single after which Alex Bregman doubled Brantley to third. One strikeout later, which was the inning’s second out, Chaz Roe came in to pitch. Yuli Gurriel popped one to shallow right, where second baseman Brandon Lowe and right fielder Austin Meadows converged. Lowe waved Meadows off — not sure that was the right play — and . . . missed it. The ball dropped and both Brantley and Bregman scored.

It’s now 4-0. Verlander has a good deal of gas left in his tank. The Rays had better figure out a way to get to him or this one’s gonna be over soon.

3:57PM: Justin Verlander of the Astros and Tyler Glasnow of the Rays traded zeros — and pitches in the high-90s — four four innings in Game 1 of their ALDS series. Verlander added another goose egg in the fifth. If Glasnow came out for the bottom half of the fifth humming “anything you can do I can do better,” he ain’t doin’ it anymore, because he just gave up a two-run homer to José Altuve to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Verlander has cruised thus far, allowing only one hit and walking two while throwing 72 pitches in his five frames. Glasnow worked out of some trouble in the bottom of the third, getting out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out Yordan Álvarez with some serious gas and then had a 1-2-3 fourth. Earlier today Kevin Cash said that, theoretically, Glasnow could go six innings, but by the time Altuve came up with a runner on in the fifth, he had already reached his highest pitch total — 73 — since coming off the injured list in early September. Pitch number 76 was a 97 m.p.h. fastball that Altuve cheated on a bit, knowing that Glasnow was going to rely on his gas. All he did was knock it out of the park.

Brendan McKay is now in for the Rays, with the Astros still batting in the bottom of the fifth.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).