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Astros 8, Tigers 1: Houston homer barrage continues against Matthew Boyd, Tigers

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Splitting a series with the Twins was one thing. Keeping their heads above water against the Astros will be quite another.

Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

That’s not the way you want to start a homestand, is it? The Tigers dropped a sad one against the Jose Altuve-less Houston Astros, 8-1, on Monday evening.

Matthew Boyd started the Tigers off on the wrong foot for the opener of three against the always dangerous Houston Astros. Despite getting through the frightening top four hitters unscathed, in the second he served up a two-out solo home run to Aledmys Diaz, and after a walk to Tyler White, Robinson Chirinos hit a laser beam out to right-centre to put the Astros up 3-0. Yikes.

The bottom of the second saw the Tigers leave runners on second and third as JaCoby Jones sat like the house on the side of the road and watched strike three go by. However, of note was Josh Harrison doing something you rarely see: advancing a base on a foul pop-fly out. Grayson Greiner fouled out behind third to Carlos Correa, who flipped it casually to the catcher (Jeimer Candelario was on third), and Harrison alertly scooted from first to second. You kids out there, you take note.

Boyd’s pitch count hit 75 as he completed the third, stranding two runners in the process. As the Tigers had played four games in the previous three days, ideally Boyd would have been efficient and chewed up some innings by being efficient. Alas, it was not to be, as Houston’s relentless lineup fouled off pitches others would miss entirely; Dan Dickerson’s unofficial count was 14 two-strike foul balls. The result was hitter after hitter seeing five, six or more pitches, and that’s not good, especially when you’re not exactly hitting your spots. After four innings, he was at 96 pitches, and that was it for Boyd.

Brad Peacock didn’t exactly have pinpoint command either, walking three through the first three innings, despite only giving up one hit. The bottom of the Tigers’ order finally started chipping away with one out in the fourth, with a one-out Candelario single followed by a double by Harrison, pushing Candelario to third. A deep line drive out to left by Grayson Greiner drove in Candelario to make it 3-1. Jones worked a walk, but a Niko Goodrum strikeout ended the threat.

Zach Reininger was sent down to Triple-A Toledo just long enough to hop on a bus back to Detroit, and he took over from Boyd to start the fifth and sat the Astros down 1-2-3. Then he did it again in the sixth, with some sparkling defensive help from Ronny Rodriguez. His reward? Probably more outings against the Astros.

After two lights-out innings from Reininger, Victor Alcántara took over for the seventh. Chirinos worked a one-out walk, and nine-hole hitter Jake Marisnick hit a long home run over the bullpens in left to make it 5-1.

Reid Garrett faced three in a slightly shaky eighth, but was rescued by a double play to elude any damage. Garrett plunked Marisnick with one out in the ninth; Marisnick stole second and scored on a George Springer single to put the Astros up by five. Alex Bregman squeaked one by Christin Stewart’s glove over the left-field fence to make the rout official.

News and notes

  • Jake Rogers, considered by some to be the best defensive catching prospect in the minors, was promoted to Triple-A Toledo. The big question about him has always been his bat, but so far this year he has been hitting over .300 with some power at Double-A Erie.
  • Look who’s coaching first base for the Astros: the one and only Don “Donnie Deeds” Kelly. We love you, Donnie!
  • Justin Verlander was asked by 97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger about the Detroit sports teams in general, and why the Tigers never won the World Series during his tenure here. I think he’s bang-on.

Poll

Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Zac Reininger: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB
    (31 votes)
  • 30%
    Ronny Rodriguez: 2-3, sparkling defence
    (48 votes)
  • 50%
    Don Kelly: obviously
    (79 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now