Verlander helps Astros set 2 MLB K marks
Right-hander fans 11 for AL lead, career high of 280 on season
HOUSTON -- The Astros' pitching staff set two single-season Major League strikeout records in Saturday night's 10-5 win over the Angels at Minute Maid Park.
Right-hander Justin Verlander helped Houston establish the record for most strikeouts in a season by a club's starters with 1,069 -- eclipsing the Indians' mark of 1,066 in 2017.
In the ninth inning, the Astros set a record with 1,615 strikeouts as a staff, also previously held by the Indians (1,614 in '17). That mark fell when Roberto Osuna struck out Sherman Johnson for the first out of the ninth.
"For me, I just try to do my part," Verlander said. "As a staff we've been executing some pitches at a high level and been able to get a lot of swings and misses.
"You look at our staff, we have a bunch of guys with power stuff. Then you have [lefty Dallas Keuchel], who also generates swings and misses without power stuff. So all of those guys are able to go out there and give you a chance to win, and give you a chance to dominate. Those numbers pile up over the course of a year."
Verlander, who leads the American League in strikeouts with a career-high 280 after racking up 11 over six strong innings on Saturday, gave the Astros the starters record with a fifth-inning punchout of Taylor Ward for his ninth strikeout of the game. For good measure, Verlander got the next batter, Kaleb Cowart, to strike out swinging to end the inning.
The record was tied when Verlander fanned Andrelton Simmons looking to begin the fifth, an inning in which he struck out the side.
Verlander threw six shutout innings, allowing only one hit and no walks. He leads the AL with 12 double-digit strikeout games. He settled for a no-decision when Francisco Arcia tied it at 1 with an RBI double off reliever Hector Rondon in the Angels' five-run eighth. Houston rallied with nine runs in the bottom half to reduce its magic number for an AL West title to five.
Verlander and teammate Gerrit Cole are running 1-2 in the AL in strikeouts. Cole has 272 after whiffing 12 Angels in Friday's series opener. Astros right-hander Charlie Morton, who will start Sunday's series finale, has 195 strikeouts on the season.