DETROIT--The Tigers played their first game back in Comerica Park after nearly two weeks on the road and came home boasting a triumphant 6-1 road record.
Max Scherzer was dominant against the Houston Astros Monday evening and delivered eight solid innings where he made so many batters swing at pitches that seemed to vanish as if they were never there it was just not even fair.
In those eight innings he allowed just three hits, struck out nine batters and walked a measly one batter. As a result, his ERA dropped to 1.72 and out of the 111 pitches he threw, 71 were for strikes. He showcased his fastball and slider with regularity, and his changeup was unmatched.
The Tigers offense had several opportunities to score early on, including the first inning but a few mistakes on the basepaths kept the score even at zero through six innings. But their time would come in the seventh inning in a small but significant way.
Nick Castellanos reached on an error by the Astros first baseman Marc Krauss when he failed to catch the ball thrown and by the third baseman Matt Dominguez who was charged with an assist for the error. Alex Avila worked the count full, demonstrating his ever evolving ability at the plate and drew a walk.
Andrew Romine acted selflessly when he laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. And after being nearly hit by a pitch, Rajai Davis drew first blood and put the Tigers ahead to make the score 1-0. But with one out, Ian Kinsler grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The Tigers would increase their lead, courtesy of a bomb off the bat of Victor Martinez. It took Martinez two swinging strikes, two balls and two fouls to get it, but a seven pitch at-bat resulted in a solo home run which increased the Tigers' lead to 2-0.
Tigers closer Joe Nathan walked the leadoff batter but he was redeemed when Romine tagged out Dexter Fowler trying to advance to second base. A flyout by Austin Jackson and a catch in foul territory by Castellanos hanging over the railing into the dugout ended the game. Final score, Tigers 2, Astros 0.