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Tigers 14, Astros 6: Lots and lots of runs

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The Tigers’ offense exploded on Friday night in the series opener against Houston.

MLB: Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers are hot. Coming off a key three-game sweep in Boston, the Tigers began a series on Friday night against the Houston Astros, the team right above them in the wild card race. Matt Boyd made a decent start, but it was the offense who powered the Tigers’ 14-6 victory.

The game got off to a rough start for Boyd, and the Astros went up 2-0 on a Jose Altuve homer just three batters into the game. However, the Tigers answered right back in the bottom of the first, tying the game 2-2. Back-to-back singles were followed by a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly, and Nick Castellanos hit an RBI-single as well.

The Tigers offense continued to attack Collin McHugh in the second, and the Houston starter was removed before the inning ended. Four straight one-out hits saw Cameron Maybin and Cabrera drive home runs, and a Castellanos infield single put the Tigers up by four. Chris Devenski then entered the game and promptly gave up a three-run bomb to Tyler Collins. The Tigers put up seven runs in the frame to go ahead 9-2.

Boyd settled down after the first, allowing just two hits over the next four innings. He did surrender a solo shot to Jake Marisnick leading off the third, but he exited the game after five innings and 100 pitches with a 9-3 lead.

The Tigers scored again in the the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to 10-3. Collins hit a triple and scored on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia sacrifice fly that was impressively caught by Marisnick in deep center. Justin Upton followed that up in the sixth inning with a three-run dinger that stayed just fair down the left field line, making it a 13-3 game.

Alex Wilson entered the game in the sixth inning and recorded a 1-2-3 inning. He pitched into the seventh and gave way to Mark Lowe, who closed out the frame but left with two runners on in the eighth. Dustin Molleken took his place and allowed both inherited runners to score as well as a run of his own.

James McCann got one back for the Tigers in the eighth inning, blasting a pinch hit solo shot to push the score to 14-6. Molleken came back out in the ninth to finish off the game.

ROARS:

Top of the order: The Ian Kinsler/Cameron Maybin duo went 5-for-9 while scoring a total of five runs.

5-7 Hitters: Nick Castellanos, Justin Upton, and Tyler Collins all had great nights at the plate. The trio combined for six hits, six runs, eight RBI, and two homers.

The whole offense: Every Tigers’ starter recorded a hit except for Saltalamacchia, who was a bit unlucky but still knocked in a run.

Matt Boyd: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 6 SO, BB. Home runs are still a problem, but Boyd has been looking a lot more reliable since the All-Star break.

Alex Wilson: Four batters, four outs after Boyd left the game.

HISSES:

Mark Lowe and Dustin Molleken: Sure, the game was already in hand, but nothing about either pitcher was too inspiring.

STATS AND INFO:

  • The Tigers set a new high-water mark with 14 runs and fell just a couple short of matching their season-high of 18 hits.
  • Maybin played his first game since July 23 after resting from a minor injury. He looked just fine, going 3-for-5 while scoring three runs and knocking in two.
  • The Tigers went 7-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
  • Molleken’s appearance was his first since July 13.
  • Astros hitters let their bat fling out of their hand on three separate occasions.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs