DETROIT--This was not the hit parade game of Tuesday night. With two exceptions, It was the direct opposite. The Tigers had a begrudgingly rain-delayed game by nine minutes to thank for that.
Rick Porcello pitched well through six innings and allowed just one run and four hits. However he hit a roadblock in the seventh inning and after allowing a double and two singles which cut the Tigers lead to within one, Porcello's night was done. He left the game with two on, two out and the score 3-2 in favor of the Tigers.
Miguel Cabrera didn't waste any time in picking up where he'd left off Tuesday evening and sent an 0-1 pitch opposite field to right, quickly putting the Tigers ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. It was, however, his only hit of the night and his batting average stood at .292 when the night reached conclusion.
Andrew Romine was credited with his fourth stolen base of the season in the second inning. Initially he was called out, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus ruled the system yet again when he challenged the call and the ruling was overturned. Romine also got some good wood on the ball in the fourth which missed left field home run territory by mere feet.
The Astros employed the shift with great liberty and several well hit balls by the Tigers were cut off, including a scorched ball to right by Alex Avila in the second inning. Things remained quiet until the sixth inning when Victor Martinez joined Cabrera and hit his own solo home run deep into the seats in right field. It was his sixth home run of the season and put the Tigers up 3-2.
Rajai Davis won a long drawn out battle at the plate and on the basepaths with Astros starting pitcher Brad Peacock. He put up a 10-pitch at-bat battle before finally drawing a walk. However Peacock decided to pay an inordinate amount of attention to Davis at first base. Davis survived six pickoff attempts, a pitchout and Peacock stepping out three times before he finally won the argument and successfully stole second base.
Joba Chamberlain pitched a gem of 1 ⅓ innings. After getting Jose Altuve to groundout to an inning-ending 4-3 play, he pitched a picture perfect eighth inning. Chamberlain retired the Astros in order, getting the first to strike out on a foul tip and struck out the next two in eye-glazing fashion. After retiring the last batter, Chamberlain came off the mound with a fist pump of victory which kept the Tigers in the lead.
The Tigers closer Joe Nathan came out for the ninth inning and shut the door for the Tigers. After getting the first batter to ground out on a 4-3 play, Nathan sent the next batter packing, courtesy of a swing. But he walked the next batter and pinch runner Jonathan Villar stole second, and later third. However Nathan would end the threat when he got Matt Dominguez to strike out swinging to end the game in favor of the Tigers.
The Tigers improve their record to 20-9 and have now won eight consecutive games. They have won 9 of their last 10 games and Porcello picks up his fifth win of the season.