Live blog: Astros silence Tigers bats with 1-0 victory
It was a classic pitchers’ duel at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Monday night as the Astros beat the Tigers, 1-0.
A slew of Astros relievers silenced the Tigers’ bats all night long. They were replacing usual starter Dallas Keuchel who was placed on the 10-day disabled list. The Astros were only expecting three innings out of starter Brad Peacock, but he went a bit further.
Peacock (4 1/3 innings) got his first start of the year, in 13 appearances, for the Astros (30-15) but didn’t stay in long enough to get a decision. He struck out eight Tigers, though, and allowed no runs and just one hit. The rest of the Astros staff combined for 4 2/3 innings, striking out six batters with no hits allowed.
This was the first game of the year in which the Tigers (21-22) had fewer than four hits. There just weren’t many hard-hit balls on Astros pitching all evening. Mike Mahtook recorded the only hit for Detroit.
Although Astros pitching was the story of the game, Michael Fulmer pitched seven innings, allowing eight hits and just one earned run while striking out four.
Jose Altuve drove in the only run of the game for the Astros in the first inning with an RBI double.
Jordan Zimmermann (4-2, 6.25 ERA) will look to win his second straight decision for on Tuesday, getting the nod for Detroit. Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1, 2.65) will toe the rubber for the Astros.
Top 9th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Closer Ken Giles came in for the Astros, searching for save No. 12.
Justin Upton came in as the pinch-hitter for Dixon Machado, striking out to kick things off in the ninth. Ian Kinsler grounded out to short for the second out and Alex Avila struck out swinging to end the game.
Bottom 8th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Shane Greene relieved Michael Fulmer to start the eighth.
Jose Altuve struck out looking on a nasty breaking ball for the first out. Carlos Correa also guessed wrong on strike three, watching it cross the plate for the second out.
Houston got its ninth hit one a two-out double off the right-center field wall. Evan Gattis then earned a walk to put runners at first and second with two outs. Marwin Gonzalez struck out looking to end the inning.
Top 8th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Will Harris entered the game in relief for the Astros and kept the Tigers off the board.
Nick Castellanos tried to hold up on a high 1-2 pitch, but went too far for the first out. Tyler Collins then struck out swinging, the 12th strikeout for the Tigers on the night. Mikie Mahtook flew out to right center field.
Bottom 7th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Michael Fulmer looked to tack on another inning to his strong outing.
Marwin Gonzalez led the inning off with a bunt single to first. Yuli Gurriel made it a true threat with a single to put runners at first and second with no outs.
Alex Bregman struck out on a checked swing that went too far for the first out and the next batter, George Springer, followed suit with a swinging strike three. Dixon Machado ran down a soft pop up off the bat of Josh Reddick to end the inning.
Top 7th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Once again, Chris Devenski returned to the mound in relief for the Astros.
Miguel Cabrera had one of the few nice swings against Astros pitching to start the seventh, but flew out to the warning track in center field. Victor Martinez was hit by a pitch with one out, but was forced out at second on a J.D. Martinez double play groundout in the next at-bat.
Bottom 6th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Following the usual trend, Michael Fulmer continued to get stronger as the game progressed.
Carlos Correa began the sixth by grounding out to third. Carlos Beltran bounced out to short for the second out and Evan Gattis also grounded out to Dixon Machado for out No. 3.
Top 6th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Chris Devenski remained in the game for the Astros.
Dixon Machado was robbed of a leadoff single thanks to a diving catch in center field by George Springer. Ian Kinsler popped out to first base and Alex Avila struck out for the third time in the contest.
Bottom 5th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Michael Fulmer looked to be hitting his stride in the fifth, but still allowed at least one hit for the fifth straight inning.
Alex Bregman flew out to right field to start the fifth for the Astros. After a long at-bat, George Springer struck out swinging. Josh Reddick recorded his second hit of the game with a two-out single. Jose Altuve flew out to right field for the third out.
Top 5th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
For the fifth straight inning, Brad Peacock came on to do work. The Astros were aiming to get at least three innings from the usual reliever who was spot-starting for Dallas Keuchel.
Nick Castellanos struck out to start the inning, Peacock's eighth. Tyler Collins followed that up with a walk, chasing Peacock.
Chris Devenski entered the game for the Astros in relief of Peacock with one out. Collins attempted to steal second, but was thrown out even after getting a great jump. Mike Mahtook then struck out swinging to end the fifth.
Bottom 4th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Shortstop Dixon Machado recorded all three outs in the fourth for the Tigers.
Carlos Beltran popped out to the shortstop. Evan Gattis grounded out to short for two quick outs. Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-out double off the scoreboard in left field but Yulu Gurriel grounded out to short to end the fourth.
Top 4th: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Brad Peacock continued to cruise for the Astros.
Like he did in his first at-bat, Alex Avila struck out to start the fourth. Miguel Cabrera worked a one-out walk, though, and moved to second on a wild pitch with Victor Martinez, the next batter, at the plate. Martinez then flew out to deep center for the second out.
J.D. Martinez struck out to end the threat.
Bottom 3rd: Astros 1, Tigers 0
For the third straight inning, the Astros got the leadoff man on.
Alex Bregman hit a grounder between second and third, fielded by Dixon Machado, but he legged out an infield single to start the third. Josh Reddick moved him over to second with a one-out single up the middle. Neither would advance any further.
George Springer flew out to right field for the first out. Jose Altuve got ahead 3-0 again on Michael Fulmer, but swing at the next pitch, flying out to left field for the second out. Carlos Correa then bounced out to second base, ending the Astros' threat.
Top 3rd: Astros 1, Tigers 0
The Tigers finally got into the hit column in the third.
Tyler Collins was the seventh straight Tiger to be retired by Brad Peacock to start the game, striking out swinging. Mikie Mahtook then single through the infield into left field with one out.
Dixon Machado became the fifth strikeout victim of Peacock for out No. 2 and Ian Kinsler grounded out to third.
Bottom 2nd: Astros 1, Tigers 0
In need of a quicker second inning, Michael Fulmer retired the Astros rather swiftly.
Evan Gattis led things off with a single to center, narrowly avoiding the diving Tyler Collins' glove. Marwin Gonzalez grounded into a double play, salvaging the growing pitch count of Fulmer. Yuli Gurriel grounded out to short to end the inning.
Top 2nd: Astros 1, Tigers 0
The Tigers went quietly in the second inning as well.
Victor Martinez, returning to the lineup after being on paternity leave, grounded out softly to second base and even a poor throw to first was enough to get him. J.D. Martinez followed him up with a groundout to third. Nick Castellanos also grounded out to third to end the inning.
Bottom 1st: Astros 1, Tigers 0
Michael Fulmer took the mound, seeking yet another quality start.
The second-year pitcher began the game by walking George Springer. Josh Reddick then flew out to center field for the first out. After falling behind 3-0 on Jose Altuve, Fulmer worked the count full before the second baseman doubled into the left field corner, plating the game's first run.
Carlos Correa advanced Altuve to third after grounding out to second. Carlos Beltran struck out swinging to end the first.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Astros 0
Brad Peacock toes the rubber for the Astros, getting his first start in 13 appearances.
Ian Kinsler struck out to open the game on three straight pitches. Alex Avila followed that up with a strikeout looking. Miguel Cabrera ended the inning with another strikeout.
Michael Fulmer is off to a strong start.
Eight starts into his sophomore season, the defending AL Rookie of the Year has almost half as many wins (5) as he had all of last season (11). He has a 2.72 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP, and he hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season.
He'll face a test Monday night.
Fulmer and the Tigers open a four-game series in Houston, facing the team with the best record in the majors. The Astros so far have such a stranglehold on the AL West, they own a 5.5-game lead in the division, despite just getting swept by the Indians.
First pitch at Minute Maid Park is at 8:10 p.m.
The Tigers will face right-hander Brad Peacock (2-0, 1.10 ERA), making his first start this season after 12 relief appearances. Victor Martinez returns to the lineup for the Tigers, after missing the Rangers series while on paternity leave.
The Tigers are coming off a six-game homestand in which they went 3-3. The four-game set in Houston opens a brutal road trip in which Detroit will play 11 games over the next 10 days, including a doubleheader Friday at the Chicago White Sox.
TIGERS AT ASTROS
First pitch: 8:10 p.m. Monday, Minute Maid Park, Houston
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 21-21, third place in the American League Central Division, two games behind the Twins and Indians. The Astros are 29-15, first place in the AL West, 5.5 games ahead of the Rangers.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Alex Avila, C
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. NIck Castellanos, 3B
7. Tyler Collins, CF
8. Mikie Mahtook, LF
9. Dixon Machado, SS
SP: Michael Fulmer, RHP
1. George Springer, CF
2. Josh Reddick, RF
3. Jose Altuve, 2B
4. Carlos Correa, SS
5. Carlos Beltran, DH
6. Evan Gattis, C
7. Marwin Gonzalez, LF
8. Yulieski Gurriel, 1B
9. Alex Bregman, 3B
SP: Brad Peacock, RHP