The Detroit Tigers were flummoxed by wicked pitching from Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers, Jr. and beaten by their own defense, as they dropped the second game of the series in Houston, 6-2.
With McCullers on the mound, the Tigers saw their scoreless inning streak reach 22 innings as the young righty held them to just one hit over five innings with five strikeouts. Jordan Zimmermann got the start for the Tigers and managed to limit the damage this time out, though he still continues to suffer from the hard-contact dragon and a severe case of homeritis, surrendering two solo shots on just four hits in six innings of work.
The Astros jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on solo shots in the second and fourth innings. A line drive under the glove of a lunging Nicholas Castellanos in the third inning led to the Astros’ second run of the night.
Things looked fairly uninteresting until in the seventh inning, having chased McCullers from the game due to high pitch count, Mikie Mahtook took reliever Michael Feliz deep to left field for a two-run shot to pull the Tigers back within one run. The excitement did not last long, however. In the bottom of the inning, Alex Wilson came on after a leadoff hit given up by Zimm. After another single to put two on, Wilson got a comebacker right to him that looked like a sure double play ball. Unfortunately, he threw the ball wide of second base and into right field, allowing a run to score and leaving runners on the corners with no one out. A sac fly later and the Astros had rebuilt their three-run lead.
Warwick Saupold gave up a double in the eighth that led to an RBI single thanks to another Tigers error on a caught stealing attempt at third.
Mikie Mahtook: Hit his second home run of the year, accounting for the only offense the Tigers have mustered in two games, and two of the five hits they've recorded in said games.
Jordan Zimmermann: He grinded through six innings with an open sore on his pitching hand and held the Astros to just four hits, unfortunately two of them were solo home runs.
Tigers defense: An error in the third inning by Castellanos and a horrendous throwing error by Alex Wilson on a sure double play ball highlighted the struggles of the Tigers as a team in this forgettable game.
Tigers offense: Held to just two runs and four hits.
STREAKS AND INFO:
The two run homer by Mahtook in the sixth inning ended a 22 inning scoreless streak by the Tigers’ offense.