Monday night, Astros reliever Chris Devenski pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief against Detroit to earn the win in the series opener. Wednesday, the Tigers returned the favor, plating a pair of runs off Devenski to break up a tie game in the eighth inning and ultimately defeat Houston 6-3 at Minute Maid Park.
Jose Iglesias doubled to start the eighth and advanced to third on an Ian Kinsler singled. Alex Avila drove in the go-ahead run on a ground out to Yuli Gurriel. Victor Martinez provided another RBI, reaching on a fielder’s choice.
“Little bad luck, little bit of a rough start to the inning and they found a way to push across a couple of runs,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. “They did that twice with two of their two run innings. They put the ball in play and got some runs with some outs.”
“It was just too bad I wasn’t able to finish it,” Devenski said. “I will just keep moving forward.”
The Tigers pushed across the game’s first two runs off Charlie Morton in the third inning. Iglesias singled to start the frame, advanced to third on a double by Kinsler and scored on a wild pitch. Kinsler would later score when Miguel Cabrera rolled into a double play.
The Astros would tie the game with single runs in the third and fourth innings on sacrifice flies. Evan Gattis provided a line out to left that chased home George Springer in the third. An inning later, Nori Aoki lifted a fly ball to Justin Upton in left field that plated Yuli Gurriel to even the score at 2.
Morton finished strong, giving up just the two runs on four hits, in seven innings of work in a no decision.
After the Tigers scored a pair off Devenski, they added two insurance runs in the ninth off Jordan Jankowski who was making his big league debut. Jankowski struck out the first two hitters he faced before Tyler Collins tripled and Iglesias won a long at bat with a two-run homer to the Crawford Boxes for a 6-2 Tigers advantage.
Alex Bregman homered in the ninth for the Astros, his third of the year and his third hit of the game.
“I am feeling better,” he said. “I’m working every single day to improve and just not satisfied. Just going to keep grinding and keep getting after it. I would have traded that night for a win but that’s baseball. We have to come back out here tomorrow, get after it and compete and try and win a series.”
The Tigers and Astros wrap up a four-game series Thursday night with a 7:10 p.m. start at Minute Maid. Mike Fiers (1-2 5.14) will start for Houston against Detroit’s Justin Verlander (4-3 4.39)
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