The Detroit Tigers surrendered a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth but scored three in the eleventh to defeat the Houston Astros 3-2.
Justin Verlander threw 107 pitches in seven innings while giving up only three hits and no runs. He’s only received seven runs of support from the Tigers’ offense in his last five starts, going 1-3 with one no decision. In two of those games he left the with the lead and in one the game was tied when he was removed.
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Verlander was throwing 90+ miles per hour changeups to offset his fastball which made him virtually unhittable all night. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Houston starter Collin McHugh was equally as tough to figure out.
The Tigers scored their only run for Verlander in the fifth. Anthony Gose walked and stole second. Ian Kinsler lined to left fielder Preston Tucker but on review it was ruled that the ball was trapped. Gose was waived in to score and the Tigers had a 1-0 lead.
The score stayed that way until the ninth when Bruce Rondon came on to try and nail down his third save of the season. He worked lead-off hitter Preston Tucker to a 1-2 count before giving up a long home run to left center field, tying the game.
The Tigers broke the game open in the eleventh when Julio Inglesias led off with a single off of Astros’ reliever Pat Neshek (3-3). Miguel Cabrera followed with a walk to put men on first and second for Victor Martinez. He golfed an opposite field double to score Inglesias to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Rajai Davis came in to pinch run for Cabrera at third and scored on the next pitch when J.D. Martinez singled to right, sending Victor Martinez to third. Jefry Marte came in to pinch run for him and scored on a Tyler Collins single to close the scoring for the Tigers at 4.
Jose Altuve singled to lead off the first for the Astros and was caught frozen on Verlander’s pick-off throw. Altuve held his position flat-footed as Victor Martinez applied the tag.
In the eighth inning Altuve went to his right to rob Victor Martinez of a base hit to kill a potential rally after Cabrera had singled with two out.
After Preston Tucker’s home run in the ninth, Carlos Correa punched a line drove to short center. Gose made one of his patented diving, full extension catches to keep the inning under control.
In the bottom of the tenth Jake Marisnick pinch ran for Marwin Gonzalez, who had singled with one out. James McCann saw him leaning and snapped a throw to first base. Victor Martinez made a sweeping tag effort before realizing that Marisnick was nowhere near the base. Martinez finished the play and Jason Castro followed with a ground out to end the inning.