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Tigers 6, Astros 2: J.D. Martinez homers off his former club

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A home run by J.D. Martinez against his former team helped lift Detroit to a third straight win.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

DETROIT -- The Astros got an early lead on a fielding error by Ian Kinsler, but J.D. Martinez slugged the Tigers back into the lead with a three-run blast in the third inning. The Tigers never again trailed and won 6-2 over the Houston Astros, locking up the second game of the series and extending their winning streak to three games.

Of the six runs scored by the Detroit offense, all occurred with two outs. The last time the Astros were playing in Comerica Park before this series, Martinez was an Astro, and he slugged a Max Scherzer pitch to deep left-center field for a homer. This time he made his former team pay by knocking a three-run home run against Collin McHugh. And while the offense had hits, it wasn't until the eighth inning that they came alive. Detroit scored three runs on three hits, with James McCann knocking a two-run single to give the Tigers the final score.

Alfredo Simon was up and down to start the game, but he kept the Astros at bay, limiting them to just four hits through seven innings. Kinsler bobbled a standard groundout and it allowed a run to score from third, which was followed by a double to score a second run. As a result, neither run was earned, but the leadoff double in that inning had set up the runs to start. Both doubles were the only hard-hit contact that the Astros had against him, and Simon tallied five strikeouts.

ROARS:

J.D. Martinez: After just missing a three-run home run to left field -- it landed just foul -- Martinez went opposite field on a 3-2 pitch, crushing a three-run shot to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead in the third.

Alfredo Simon: Seven innings, four hits, two runs (both unearned), one walk and five strikeouts was Simon's night, and Martinez gave them back and then one, on one swing of the bat.

Eighth inning: A leadoff single by Miguel Cabrera started the three-run eighth, but it was Rajai Davis who legged out an infield single to keep the inning alive. McCann finished it off with a two-run single.

HISSES:

Fifth inning fumble: Brilliant move if it worked, but it didn't. Cabrera took off for second, while Gose headed home. The Astros, though, were quick to notice the move and the 2-4-2 play was successful. Gose was out at home, ending the inning. J.D. Martinez, who was batting at the time, singled in the next inning, which would've driven in Gose from third had the Tigers not attempted a steal. But as we know that's guessing and things might not have worked out the same before.

Shaky defense: In rare form, the Tigers defense was having an off-night. Ian Kinsler fumbled an easy two-out bouncer that would have ended the third inning, which directly led to the Astros scoring two runs for an inning that should have been over. Jose Iglesias moved to foul ground for a popup, but got completely turned around and it dropped in front of him after he turned around at the last minute. He wasn't even close to catching the ball.

STREAKS AND STATS:

  • Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-out double in the first inning on Friday night, his longest hitting streak of the season so far. Cabrera's last 10-game hitting streak was April 22-May 4, 2014. Soon after, Cabrera had an 11-game hitting streak from May 9-20, 2014, which he will hope to continue on Saturday. Cabrera has not had a 12-game hitting streak since May 14-26, 2013.
  • Alfredo Simon went seven strong innings for the fourth time this season in nine starts. Of those nine, Simon has also gone at least six innings in all but three starts, and has pitched fewer than five innings only once.
  • The Tigers grounded into their 45th double play of the season in the second inning, stranding two runners. They grounded into their 46th in the fourth. Shocking absolutely no one, that still leads MLB.
  • J.D. Martinez hit his ninth home run of the season in the third inning. An opposite field homer, Martinez has now hit six of his nine home runs the opposite way in 2015.
  • Jose Iglesias' bat has cooled off. In the last seven games, Iglesias has dropped from hitting above the .350 mark, to .322, and he is batting just .174 during that time. Since his last multi-hit game on May 15, Iglesias has just four hits, one walk, and one RBI, and he did not score for 20 plate appearances before doing so in the third inning on J.D. Martinez's home run.
  • Friday night marked the 13th multi-hit game of the season for Anthony Gose, and the eighth for the month of May.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs