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AP photo by Michael Wyke / Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers to the plate against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning Friday during Game 1 of their AL Division Series.

Updated with more information at 3:40 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2019.

HOUSTON — Asked what went wrong for his team Friday, Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash invented a word.

"We got Verlandered," Cash said.

Justin Verlander looked every bit the October ace and Jose Altuve polished his postseason résumé as the Houston Astros kept rolling, beating the Rays 6-2 Friday to open the American League Division Series.

The Astros, who won a franchise-record 107 games during the regular season for this year's best record in the majors, began their quest for a second World Series title in three years against a team that downed the Oakland Athletics 5-1 in Wednesday night's wild-card game.

Verlander kept up his dominant run this year — he posted an MLB-best 21 wins and fanned 300 batters in the regular season — by allowing just a soft single in seven shutout innings. He struck out eight and improved to 8-0 in 12 career ALDS appearances. He's 14-7 overall in postseason play.

He cracked up when told Cash used his performance to turn his name into a verb.

"It's a pretty great compliment," Verlander said. "I don't know what else to say, other than that."

Tampa Bay got its only hit off Verlander when Brandon Lowe singled to start the fifth. Verlander ended his day by striking out the side in the seventh, pounding his fist into his glove as he walked off the mound after fanning Lowe.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch was asked about Verlander's knack for getting stronger late in games.

"He's got an incredible instinct for the moment," he said. "He leaves some gas in his gas tank at the end of his outings like a good sprinter, like at the finish line, he's going to win. He's going to win the race at the end of his outings."

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow had given up just three singles when he walked Josh Reddick on four pitches to begin the fifth. He struck out George Springer, but Altuve then tagged him for a two-run homer, lining a fastball into the left-field seats.

The sellout crowd of 43,360 erupted into deafening cheers and fans twirled bright orange towels as Altuve trotted around the bases, a huge grin plastered on his face.

Altuve has homered in Game 1 of an ALDS for three straight years — including three against the Boston Red Sox in the 2017 opener — and the power-packed 5-foot-6 second baseman now has nine home runs in 33 career postseason games.

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AP photo by Michael Wyke / The Houston Astros' Jose Altuve (27) celebrates after hitting a two-run homer against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

* Yankees 10, Twins 4

NEW YORK — DJ LeMahieu homered and drove in four runs, and Gleyber Torres broke a tie with a two-run double as the New York Yankees extended their October mastery of the Minnesota Twins in their ALDS opener.

Aaron Judge made two diving catches in right field as the AL East champions handed Minnesota its major league-record 14th consecutive playoff defeat — 11 of them to the Yankees since 2004. The second grab thwarted a potential rally and left grateful reliever Zack Britton with both hands on his head to end the top of the seventh, when the Twins were still within striking distance.

Brett Gardner also went deep for the Bronx Bombers in a playoff matchup between teams that finished neck-and-neck this year for the most home runs in baseball history. Minnesota's Bomba Squad socked 307, one more than New York as both clubs blew away the previous mark of 267 set by the Yankees last year.

But in the 14th postseason meeting of 100-win teams, it was more of the same Yankees dominance against the Twins.

Minnesota, the AL Central champion for the first time in nine years, was hurt by eight walks and hasn't won a playoff game since Johan Santana beat Hall of Famer Mike Mussina 2-0 in a 2004 ALDS opener at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox also lost 13 straight postseason games, from 1986 to '95.

Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sanó homered for Minnesota.

* Nationals 4, Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES — Stephen Strasburg turned in another dominant playoff outing, Max Scherzer overpowered Los Angeles for an inning out of the bullpen and the Washington Nationals held off the Dodgers to even their National League Division Series at a game apiece.

Scherzer struck out the side in the eighth, but Washington's shaky bullpen still ran into trouble. Daniel Hudson labored through the ninth, loading the bases with two outs before striking out Corey Seager for the save. The tense final inning also included a twisting, falling grab by third baseman Anthony Rendon on Cody Bellinger's pop fly in shallow left field, as well as a gutsy intentional walk by manager Dave Martinez that brought the winning run to bat.

Pitching on the shortest rest of his career, Strasburg took a perfect game into the fifth inning while outdueling Clayton Kershaw. Strasburg pitched one-run ball for six innings and struck out 10, lowering his career postseason ERA to 0.64 — the best in history for players with at least four starts. He edged out Dodgers great Sandy Koufax (0.95 ERA), who watched from the front row.

Dodgers rookie Will Smith broke up Strasburg's perfect bid with a two-out single. The three-time All-Star allowed his first earned run in 23 consecutive postseason innings dating to the 2014 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants and limited Los Angeles to three hits and no walks.

Scherzer came on for the eighth and punched out Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson on 14 pitches. The 35-year-old right-hander threw 77 pitches in the NL wild-card game Tuesday, yet he topped out at 99 mph in his fourth career playoff relief appearance.

Justin Turner led off the ninth with a ground-rule double off Hudson, spurring hope from a sellout crowd of 53,086. A.J. Pollock struck out, and then Bellinger popped up to shallow left. Rendon misjudged the ball but recovered and made the catch while he tumbled over. The goateed All-Star smiled wide as he stood.

Martinez intentionally walked Max Muncy, who hit a solo shot off Sean Doolittle in the seventh, before Hudson walked Will Smith to load the bases. Seager fouled off four fastballs before Hudson got him to swing over a slider.

Los Angeles struck out 17 times.

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