JUSTIN AND KATE ON H-TOWN

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander disclose their 5 favorite Houston haunts

Photo by Daniel Ortiz

This article originally appeared on CultureMap and was written by Holly Beretto.

Houston once again is in the national media spotlight. This time, it's courtesy of Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and his ultra-glam, supermodel wife, Kate Upton, who dish to the New York Timeson their five places to visit in the Bayou City. While neither was born in Texas, they got here as quickly as they could, as the saying goes, and they say they've become immersed in the energy of their new hometown.

With the addition of their baby, Genevieve, and Verlander inking a deal with the Astros to stick around until 2021, Upton and Verlander definitely consider themselves Houstonians. Having the dynamic duo sing the city's praises should increase that intense local pride and serve as a reminder to all that Houston is totally celeb-worthy.

So, where do Verlander and Upton like to hang out? Here's some of what they share with the Times.

Downtown

No surprise that Minute Maid Park made the couple's list of favorite places in Houston. It is, after all, a home away from home for them. Verlander touted the enthusiasm of them fans when the team won the 2017 World Series. "Feeling that atmosphere in the ballpark was amazing," he says. Meanwhile, Upton talked about how she and Verlander's brother have a superstition they follow. "We eat popcorn to get hits."

EaDo

Kate Upton — who needs no introduction as she's often called one of the world's most beautiful women — does a serious name drop of her own when she shares her love of Nancy's Hustle (which won Restaurant of the Year at this year's Tastemaker Awards). "My friend Stella McCartney introduced me to it and it is the best burger I have ever had," she tells the Times. "They use an English muffin instead of a bun and it really just enhances the flavors."

There was a bit of bickering between the couple when Upton told Verlander, a self-professed burger lover, about the dish. When she insisted they stop in after a game, though, his skepticism vanished. "..[It] really is to die for," he said. Upton clarifies. "[He] said the burger was in the top three [that he'd eaten]." Verlander, clearly sold, does have one significant question: "But does it count as a burger if it's on an English muffin?"

Montrose

Who doesn't like meandering around Montrose, with its funky shops and headlining bars and restaurants? Those who do this routinely might run into the power couple, who told the Times they love the trendy neighborhood. Upton gave shout-outs to home good store Biscuit, Texas honkytonk Goodnight Charlie's, and the Chris Shepherd-led UB Preserve. Verlander offered a pro tip: "[G]oing on a Monday is sometimes better because it's not as crowded."

Continue reading on CultureMap to learn about their favorite spot in River Oaks.




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Kyle Tucker had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, with one team or the other putting on a solid offensive performance in each, the Astros tried to win their fourth series in their last five by taking the rubber game on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Thanks in part to a big day from Kyle Tucker, who played a significant role in the early offense they used to power to the win, they would accomplish their mission.

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 18-16, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Nate Pearson (0-1)

Kyle Tucker helps lead the offense to seven unanswered runs

Houston did not go easy on Nate Pearson in his 2021 debut. After a scoreless first, the Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then brought the first run of the day home on an RBI walk by Michael Brantley. Another walk opened the door in the bottom of the third, and Kyle Tucker capitalized with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, followed by an RBI single by Robel Garcia to make it a three-run lead, ending Pearson's day one out into the bottom of the third.

Things didn't get easier for Toronto's pitching in the next inning, as Jose Altuve would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer. A single and a walk then set up another big hit for Kyle Tucker, a three-run dinger to make it seven unanswered runs and giving Tucker four RBI on the day.

Blue Jays pound Greinke in the fifth

After four shutout innings to start his day on the mound, working around a few hits along the way, Zack Greinke tried to cash in on his team's offense to get another win on his record. He wouldn't be able to get it done, though, as Toronto would get after him in the top of the fifth. They would score four times amongst five batters that came to the plate, with a solo homer by Rowdy Tellez, a two-RBI double by Bo Bichette, and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

That made it a 7-4 game, and with Greinke still not having recorded an out in the frame, Dusty Baker would lift him at 88 pitches in favor of Bryan Abreu, who would get a pop out and a double play to end the inning and keep the lead at three runs. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Houston takes the series

No more runs would come on either side the rest of the way, with Kent Emanuel working around a single for a scoreless sixth, Ryne Stanek getting a 1-2-3 seventh, and Andre Scrubb doing the same in the eighth to set up Ryan Pressly for the save. Pressly would get the job done, sending the Blue Jays down in order, including two strikeouts to wrap up the win and giving Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will stay at home to continue this homestand, welcoming in the Angels for three games starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature a pitching matchup of Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA) for Houston.

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