DETROIT -- It was a battle of inefficiency for both starting pitchers and poor fielding for both teams, but while the Detroit Tigers' offense found hits, it couldn't match them to enough run support. In the end the Astros won 3-2 over the Astros, ending the Tigers' three-game winning streak and ending their chances for a sweep.
Run support was minimal for the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, though the hits were not reflective of that. After eight the Tigers had six hits to the Astros' eight, and both teams had one and two errors, respectively. You can see where this is going. Even Miguel Cabrera, who started the game with a single to center and was walked intentionally in the third, ended his day quietly on a strikeout and a groundout.
The Astros had their own defensive issues, but the Tigers gave it right back when they grounded into a triple play in the fifth. The only Tigers with multiple hits was Jose Iglesias, and Nick Castellanos struck out twice, grounding into the team's 47th double play of the season. The fifth-inning turned out to be the best opportunity Detroit would have at breaking the game open and despite enough chances, the afternoon game came down a battle of the bullpens.
Kyle Lobstein had a solid start, but he soon lost the strike zone in the fourth. After just three hits allowed, Lobstein walked three straight batters with two outs and needed 25 pitches to get out of a bases-loaded threat of his own creation. He would put up a seven-pitch fifth on a broken bat 6-3 groundout, flyout to center, and a 1-3-4 caught stealing of Jonathan Villar, Lobstein ran into trouble in the sixth.
This time Lobstein couldn't get out of the inning, allowing three straight singles and a run before being lifted at 76 pitches. The Astros took a 3-2 lead when Al Alburquerque -- who inherited runners at the corners -- gave up a run on a go-ahead single by Marwin Gonzalez. Alburquerque also came back out for the seventh and struck out the side, however. Tom Gorzelanny and Blaine Hardy finished the next 1 2/3 innings, striking out three batters and allowing no hits.
Anthony Gose: Reached base twice. His first at-bat got the Tigers on the board with a deep double to center field that nearly left the park. He reached first on a 3-2 fielder's choice RBI and a throwing error by Jose Altuve.
Jose Iglesias: After a week where Iglesias could get just four hits in 24 plate appearances, he reached twice on two hits. Both were singles, the former being what led to him being removed from the game in the fifth with a knee injury.
The bullpen: Gave the Tigers 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven batters combined. The only run allowed was by Alburquerque when he inherited a runners on the corners situation that scored on a single. After ending the sixth on a lineout to second base, Alburquerque would go on to strike out the next four straight batters.
Triple play: The Astros created an opportunity for the Tigers in the fifth on careless fielding. The Tigers were able to scratch out a run but they promptly hit into a 5-4-3 triple play off the bat of Ian Kinsler.
Offense: Stop me if you've heard this before. The Tigers did not give the starting pitcher enough run support, grounded into a double play and ... oh, yeah, tried something new, that triple play in the HISS above. They also struck out 10 times.
Jose Iglesias had an injury scare at first base in the third inning when the knees of he and Astros' first baseman Chris Carter collided. Iglesias barely beat out the throw from the pitcher, but he immediately pulled up limping. After being checked on by Ausmus and a Tigers trainer, Iglesias sprinted to second base before jogging back to first. He remained in the game and scored on an RBI double by Gose, but he was still limping slightly after scoring.
Iglesias did come back out in the top of the fourth, but in the bottom of the fifth after an infield single Iglesias still was not running, and he was pulled for an injury. Hernan Perez pinch ran for Iglesias and replaced him in the lineup, batting ninth. The Tigers later announced that Iglesias left the game with a left knee contusion (bruise) and is your prototypical day-to-day.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 11 games in the first inning on a two-out single to right-center field. Cabrera has not had a 12-game hitting streak since May 14-26, 2013, and his 11-game hitting streak ties J.D. Martinez for the longest hitting streak by a Tigers batter this season.
- The Tigers grounded into a triple play in the fifth inning, the first they've done so since May 20, 2009 against the Texas Rangers. Of interest, Kinsler, who grounded into the triple play, was responsible for inducing the last double play on a line drive hit to him when he last played for the Rangers.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: