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Live Tigers Blog: Tigers fall 1-0 to Astros in Houston

The Detroit News
Detroit Tigers' Ian Kinsler, right, is tagged out by Houston Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena during the first inning Friday.

FINAL: ASTROS 1, TIGERS 0

Tigers pitching was good tonight. Dallas Keuchel was better.

The Tigers managed just five hits against the reigning Cy Young award winner over eight innings, including a stretch where 11 consecutive hitters failed to reach base.

Luke Gregerson came in for the ninth inning and shut down the middle of the Tigers order. Miguel Cabrera grounded out, while Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez both unceremoniously flew out to center field to end the game.

Mike Pelfrey showed guts tonight. He loaded the bases twice in as many innings before bouncing back to limit the damage. He issued a career high six walks but allowed just five hits. Tigers fans should still feel hesitant about Pelfrey's chances to be a solid pitcher for the team this season.

After a solid start to the season, it's fair to chalk this one up to a great performance by Keuchel. The Tigers will try to get back on track tomorrow against Collin McHugh.

Bottom 8th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Buck Farmer came out and pitched another perfect inning, getting Carlos Correa to fly out to right field, struck out Colby Rasmus and Tyler White did the same.

A good performance from Tigers pitching tonight. Mike Pelfrey gave a bend but don't break performance, but the offense has given its pitchers nothing in return as Dallas Keuchel has shown out tonight in Houston.

Top 8th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

The Tigers are running out of at-bats against Dallas Keuchel. Luckily, they'll have the middle of the order up in the ninth to try and get something done.

After Anthony Gose grounded out, Jose Iglesias was able to draw a walk, but that's as good as things got. Ian Kinsler struck out on a nasty breaking ball in the dirt and Justin Upton flew out to left field to end the inning.

Keuchel's pitch count is up there (108), but he's a workhorse. I wouldn't be surprised to see him back out there for the ninth.

Bottom 7th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

With Mike Pelfrey done for the night, Brad Ausmus opted for Buck Farmer in a one-run game. Farmer rewarded his manager for his faith in him by setting the Astros down in order.

Farmer struck out Jason Castro, got Jose Altuve to ground out and George Springer to fly out harmlessly to left field.

Top 7th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Just when Dallas Keuchel was starting to look unhittable, J.D. Martinez got the the Tigers a one-out base knock.

Keuchel had retired 11 straight before that Martinez single, but the Tigers were unable to do any further damage. Nick Castellanos grounded into a fielder's choick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out harmlessly to end the inning.

The Tigers are getting a personal display of just how good the reigning Cy Young award winner is. It's looking like this game is in his hands as he sits at just 86 pitches.

Bottom 6th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Mike Pelfrey and Brad Ausmus wanted to ride it out for one more inning, and they're glad they did.

Pelfrey has found a groove and set the Astros down in order in the sixth inning. Evan Gattis became Pelfrey's third strikeout victim of the night, Carlos Gomez grounded out and Luis Valbuena did the same as Pelfrey now sits at 104 pitches. I can't imagine we'll be seeing him in the seventh, but it was an impressive effort on a night where he struggled mightily at times.

Top 6th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

The Dallas Keuchel train just keeps on chugging as the Cy Young winner set down the Tigers in order for the third consecutive inning. He's now retired 10 straight.

Ian Kinsler grounded out, Justin Upton did the same and Keuchel won a 10-pitch battle with Miguel Cabrera, striking the big man out with a nasty breaking ball in the dirt.

Bottom 5th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Mike Pelfrey had himself an up and down night, but he gave up just one run in five innings despite issuing allowing 10 baserunners to reach through five innings. At 96 pitches, his night is probably over.

Carlos Correa grounded out to third before Pelfrey issued his sixth walk of the night, this time to Colby Rasmus. Somehow, he bounced back yet again to get Tyler White to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Pelfrey loaded the bases twice in the first two frames only to escape with stellar pitches in those pressure situations. There's still a lot for Tigers fans to be worried about, but Pelfrey showed that he's got guts to stand in there and bounce back after some sketchy at-bats.

Top 5th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out, Anthony Gose did the same and so did Jose Iglesias as Dallas Keuchel is on cruise control right now.

The Tigers are jumping on a lot of early pitches and it's hard to blame them given they're afraid to fall behind in the count to such a good pitcher, but it's becoming evident that a change in approach is badly needed.

Keuchel has thrown just 52 pitches and is going to be around for a while.

Bottom 4th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Jason Castro singled with one out, but Mike Pelfrey got Jose Altuve to fly out to center field. In a 2-2 count on George Springer, Castro broke for second base and ended up on third after a lackluster throw by Jarrod Saltalamacchia got by Ian Kinsler.

No harm, no foul, though. Pelfrey got Springer to line out to end the inning and he's still keeping the Tigers in this game despite having put runners in scoring position in every inning.

Top 4th: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Dallas Keuchel is strutting his tough so far tonight in Houston against the Tigers.

The reigning Cy Young award winner set the Tigers down in order in the fourth inning and has kept them in check, thus far.

Keuchel got Victor Martinez to ground out softly, J.D. Martinez to bounce out to third and Nick Castellanos to line out for an easy frame.

Keuchel has settled in and is getting better with each inning. He's thrown 45 pitches.

Bottom 3rd: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Colby Rasmus singled to lead off the inning, Tyler White walked and Mike Pelfrey again found himself in a precarious position. Evan Gattis fouled out and Pelfrey got Carlos Gomez to ground into a double play to once again escape trouble. I don't know how he's doing it, but Pelfrey is pitching a lot better tonight when he's living on the edge.

Top 3rd: Astros 1, Tigers 0

Justin Upton singled with two outs to extend the inning for Miguel Cabrera, but the big man couldn't come through, grounding out to second base to end the inning.

Jose Iglesias lined out to lead off the inning and Ian Kinsler flew out to center field.

Bottom 2nd: Astros 1, Tigers 0

For the second consecutive inning, Mike Pelfrey loaded the bases. For the second consecutive inning, Pelfrey got himself out of the jam. After striking out George Springer, Pelfrey got the dangerous Carlos Correa to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Pelfrey has flirted with disaster, but the Tigers are still hanging in there despite his 48 pitches and four walks.

Pelfrey walked Luis Valbuena, Jason Castrol singled off the pitcher's ankle and Jose Altuve walked to start the inning.

Top 2nd: Astros 1, Tigers 0

After J.D. Martinez flew out to start the inning, Nick Castellanos notched another first-pitch hit, this time driving a fastball to center field for a long single.

The Tigers couldn't take advantage as Keuchel carved up Jarrod Saltalamacchia on three pitches before getting Anthony Gose to ground out to end the inning.

Bottom 1st: Astros 1, Tigers 0

George Springer singled with one out, Carlos Correa walked and Colby Rasmus brought Springer home to give Houston an early 1-0 lead on Mike Pelfrey.

With two men on and one out, Pelfrey issued another free pass, this time to Tyler White. Pelfrey showed some guts, though, bouncing back to get two huge outs. He struck out Evan Gattis and got Carlos Gomez to groundout after getting ahead of him in the count.

Not the start the newest Tiger was looking for after his rough debut at Comerica Park last week, but he did a nice job limiting the damage. Pelfrey threw 24 pitches in the inning.

Jose Altuve grounded out to start the inning.

Top 1st: Tigers 0, Astros 0

Ian Kinsler led things off with a first-pitch single to left field against Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, but after Justin Upton struck out looking, Miguel Cabrera singled to center field and Kinsler was thrown out at third after making a pretty silly decision. Once again, baserunning costs the Tigers. The ball was just about in the glove of the defender, who was not deep at all, when Kinsler made the turn at second. This really is becoming a problem, but the Tigers have masked it by winning ballgames early in the season.

Victor Martinez lined out to end the inning.

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Justin Upton, LF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. J.D. Martinez, RF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Anthony Gose, CF

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Mike Pelfrey - SP

ASTROS LINEUP

1. Jose Altuve, 2B

2. George Springer, RF

3. Carlos Correa, SS

4. Colby Rasmus, LF

5. Tyler White, 1B

6. Evan Gattis, DH

7. Carlos Gomez, CF

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jason Castro, C

Dallas Keuchel - SP