Astros to start Verlander on short rest in Game 4 after loss

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In a sign that Houston wants to rid itself of the Rays for good this postseason, the Astros will start their ace on three days' rest for Game 4 against Tampa Bay.

Directly after dropping Game 3 Monday at Tropicana Field, manager A.J. Hinch elected to go out of the pitching rotation order and insert Justin Verlander into Tuesday's pivotal game.

"I'm gonna treat it like it's win or go home," said Verlander after the Astros maintained their 2-1 series lead despite the loss.

"He's ready. It's his game," Hinch added.

Verlander was the Game 1 starter in Houston, where he pitched seven innings, gave up just one hit, and struck out eight batters on 100 pitches.

What was paramount, though, was the run support Verlander got from the offense. Houston drove in four runs before Verlander exited the Game 1 win.

Tampa Bay is countering J.V. with right-hander Diego Castillo, a reliever who will most likely start the game in the first few innings. Castillo appeared in 1.2 innings of relief in Game 2.

Game 4's first pitch is set for 6:07 p.m. Tuesday.

GAME 3 RECAP: Zack Greinke pounded early in ALDS loss

The Houston Astros drew first blood with a solo home run by Jose Altuve in the first inning of ALDS Game 3, but Zack Greinke gave up a three-run home run in a hitting clinic all game-long by the Rays.

Houston, which had the potential to sweep into the AL Championship Series on Monday, dropped Game 3, 10-3.

In the second inning, Greinke gave up a single to Avisail Garcia. After a ground out and a hit-by-a-pitch to Travis d'Arnaud, Kevin Kiermaier smashed home run to right-center field.

Greinke gave up two more solo shots, one to Ji-Man Choi in the third and another to Brandon Lowe in the fourth.

Greinke's afternoon ended with 3.2 innings pitched, five hits, five earned runs and five strikeouts on 61 pitches.

After Lowe's home run, the Rays added three more in the fourth inning. Astros were behind 8-1.

Manager A.J. Hinch looked to the bullpen, first with Hector Rondon, who gave up a hit on just five pitches. Rondon was then relieved by Wade Miley, who is ordinarily the Astros' fourth starting pitcher in the rotation.

After a scoreless fifth for both teams, the Astros started the sixth inning with back-to-back hits by Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez. The following hitter, Yuli Gurriel, hit a bouncer past the infield to drive in Bregman and Alvarez, cutting the deficit 8-3.

In the home half of the sixth, Miley gave up a home run to the first batter of the inning Willy Adames. The Astros' deficit widened, 9-3.

After a scoreless seventh for the Astros, the Rays dug more into Miley, with two base hits in their side of the inning. Joe Smith entered in relief with two baserunners and one out. The Rays added another run off of a d'Arnaud sacrifice fly to right, making it 10-3.

The Astros came up empty on offense the rest of the way, dropping Game 3.

SEE ALSO: Why Gerrit Cole's future with Houston Astros still up in the air

Follow the Eyewitness Sports team on Facebook:
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.