Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander was forced to leave Sunday's start against the Baltimore Orioles with right calf discomfort, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Verlander left the game after three innings and 60 pitches and was replaced by reliever Seth Martinez to open the fourth inning. He had given up three hits and a walk in his brief outing.
The two-time Cy Young winner missed the entire 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He signed a one-year contract with the Astros with an option for 2023.
Coming into Sunday, Verlander was having an excellent 2022 campaign, going 16-3 record with a 1.87 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 148 strikeouts. That has played a major part in Houston's AL-leading 81-47 record.
The Astros will be hoping Verlander's injury is nothing more than the aforementioned discomfort. Losing him down the stretch of the season, as the Astros jockey for the top seed in the American League playoffs, would be a huge blow.