Detroit Tigers(43-32) at Houston Astros (34-46) – 8:10 p.m. EDT
Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 75 degrees, 60 percent chance of storms (stadium has retractable roof)
The Detroit Tigers are red-hot, winners of seven straight, coming off two straight sweeps to start a long road trip, and heading into the home of a last place team. Where have we heard that before?
Actually it was about six weeks ago when the Tigers started their last three-city road trip at 6-0. Then they went into Cleveland and promptly lost three straight, sending them into a tailspin that they finally emerged from at the start of this winning streak.
It’s worth noting, there were no Zubaz suits, and no plane malfunctions to prevent the team from traveling to Houston. So it’s on Justin Verlander to continue the team’s winning ways and try to clinch their longest winning streak of the season at eight.
The Houston Astros are no longer the pushover that came into Comerica Park in early May and certainly not the team that the Tigers outscored 34-7 in a four-game sweep at Minute Maid Park from May 2 to 5, 2013.
Houston will see a return of the reigning AL Player of the Week, J.D. Martinez. He played in two of the games against them in Detroit, going 2-for-8. He’s a different player now, and hopefully his hot streak will continue against the team that cut him late in Spring Training, despite his hitting streak being snapped last night in Arlington.
When We Last Met
Aside from one blowout during the four-game series in Detroit nearly two months ago, the Astros played the Tigers very well. A 2-0 win and 3-2 win for the Tigers was wrapped around an 11-4 bombing. The Astros prevented the four-game sweep with a 6-2 win on May 8.
Much was made about Justin Verlander (6-7, 4.82) tweaking a few things before his last start and it paid dividends. Verlander was part of a solid turn though the rotation in his last outing against Cleveland. Though he picked up a no-decision in the extra innings Detroit win, he allowed just two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings. This start should be telling on whether his last start was a fluke or if J.V. has genuinely solved what ails him. The last time he faced Houston, Verlander shut them out over seven innings and recorded nine strikeouts in a 9-0 win on May 5, 2013.
Brad Peacock (2-4, 4.50) faced the Tigers in Detroit last month and pitched very well despite taking the loss. He allowed three runs on four hits over 6 2/3 inning in the 3-2 setback. He has helped Houston climb out of laugher status as one of the young arms that has propelled the Astros into the AL ERA leaders. He has not lost since May 12, allowing just nine runs in that stretch which includes two wins and three no-decisions.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-LF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Alex Avila-C
- Eugenio Suarez
- Ian Krol – 15-Day DL
- Luke Putkonen – Out indefinitely
- Joel Hanrahan – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – Out for season
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season