Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander said Saturday he needs Tommy John surgery. David J. Phillip/Associated Press

HOUSTON — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and is expected to be out through the 2021 season, ending his bid to make a late return for a playoff push.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

The 37-year-old right-hander threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

The Astros entered Saturday at 25-26 and holding the eighth and final AL playoff spot. They were three games ahead of Seattle for second place in the AL West.

Verlander is under contract with the Astros through 2021. General Manager James Click said it was too early to discuss 2022, with the focus being on Verlander getting through the surgery and rehab process.

“As far as next season goes, it makes the offseason that much more challenging, but we have a talented group here, and we will figure something to try to do what we can to put this team in a position to be competitive next year without Justin Verlander,” Click said.

Verlander is 226-129 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 seasons with the Tigers and Astros. He has won two AL Cy Young awards, the 2011 AL MVP and was the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year. He has struck out 3,013 in his career.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe that everything happens for a reason,” he said. “Hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

TIGERS: Manager Ron Gardenhire announced his immediate retirement barely over an hour before Saturday night’s game against Cleveland, saying he’s been “stressed out” and not feeling well.

Bench coach Lloyd McClendon is taking over as manager for the rest of the season, which is scheduled to end Sept. 27. Detroit was 21-29 heading into Saturday night’s game and is unlikely to make the postseason.

Gardenhire, who turns 63 next month, was in his third season as Detroit’s manager after he previously had a successful run with the Minnesota Twins. He has had to oversee a significant rebuild with the Tigers that included a 114-loss season in 2019.

Gardenhire said he hasn’t been feeling well and needs to take care of himself. He missed time recently because of stomach issues.


ATHLETICS 6, GIANTS 0: Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer once Oakland finally got to San Francisco’s bullpen as the Athletics won at home.

Lefty starter Jesus Luzardo (3-2) gave up five hits over six innings, striking out seven without a walk. He ended a four-start winless stretch.

MARLINS 7, NATIONALS 3: Miguel Rojas and Garrett Cooper each had a double and a homer, and Miami won at home to maintain its hold on second place in the NL East.

PHIILLIES 3, BLUE JAYS 1: Vince Velasquez pitched six strong innings, Andrew McCutchen hit the go-ahead single in the fifth inning and Philadelphia won at home.

TIGERS 5, INDIANS 2: Eric Haase and Daz Cameron hit RBI singles during a four-run eighth inning, and Detroit beat visiting Cleveland.

BREWERS 5, ROYALS 0: Corbin Burnes threw six innings of four-hit ball, Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in Milwaukee’s four-run eighth inning and the Brewers won at home.

CARDINALS 5, PIRATES 4: Tyler O’Neill hit a two-run double to end a no-hit bid started by Mitch Keller, and St. Louis rallied for a win at Pittsburgh.

Keller threw 84 pitches over six no-hit innings and was pulled from the game leading 4-0, but the Cardinals scored five runs off relief pitchers Geoff Hartlieb and Sam Howard in the seventh. O’Neill broke up the no-hit bid and keyed the inning with his bases-loaded double against Howard (2-3).

WHITE SOX 5, REDS 0: Tim Anderson hit two of Chicago’s five solo homers, and the visiting White Sox took another step toward the AL Central title by overpowering Cincinnati.

ASTROS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Jose Altuve drove in two runs, Kyle Tucker had a tiebreaking single and Houston won at home.

METS 7, BRAVES 2: Rookie David Peterson struck out NL batting leader Freddie Freeman three times and fanned a career-high 10 in six sharp innings as New York won at home.

Atlanta saw its NL East lead over Miami drop to 2 1/2 games. The Mets moved to within 1 1/2 games of the NL’s last playoff spot with eight games left.

RAYS 3, ORIOLES 1: Charlie Morton pitched five effective innings and AL East-leading Tampa Bay got home runs from Yoshi Tsutsugo and Randy Arozarena in a win at Baltimore.

TWINS 8, CUBS 1: Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sanó and Josh Donaldson homered as Minnesota clinched a second straight postseason berth with a victory at Chicago.

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