Astros can’t keep pace with Tigers

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“It took a little time, but we got the bats going today,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Iglesias scored on Alex Avila’s groundout to put the Tigers ahead, 3-2, and Victor Martinez pushed home Kinsler on a fielder’s choice two batters later to increase Detroit’s lead to two. Tigers pitchers sent down 16 consecutive batters after Norichika’s Aoki’s sac fly tied it at 2 in the fourth. That streak was broken when Alex Bregman (3-for-4) homered with two outs in the ninth.

“I would have traded that night for a win, but that’s baseball,” Bregman said. “We’ve got to come back out here tomorrow and get after it and compete and try to win a series.”

Tigers get to Devo:Devenski allowed two earned runs in the eighth to suffer his third loss, marking only the third time in 16 outings this year he’s allowed multiple runs in a game. The sure-handed relief pitcher, who leads all Major Leaguers in strikeouts, faced six batters and didn’t strike out a batter for only the second time this year.

“It was a little bit of bad luck, little bit of rough start to the inning, and they found a way to push across a couple of runs,” Hinch said.

Uptown tracks one down:The stellar relief work by the Tigers was bolstered with some terrific defense by left fielder Justin Upton, who made a long run into the gap in left-center to start the eighth to snag a ball off the bat of Marwin Gonzalez. Tigers reliever Shane Greene retired the next two batters in order for a clean inning. Upton’s play had a catch probability of 26 percent, according to Statcast™.

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“We have the potential to be a very good starting rotation with the five guys we have right now. Me and Kinsler talk about it all the time. Usually with any one of those guys, we’d feel confident winning the game, because on any given night they can shut down any team. It’s a matter of putting several starts in a row together like that. We’ve gotten that. Offensively we’ve been struggling this series to pick up the ball and get big hits in general. Today we were able to put some runs on the board.” — Avila on Tigers pitching recently

If there’s a good quote from the other team use it here, or a great additional quote from the first team, go for it.

It was an eventual Major League debut for Astros reliever Jordan Jankowski, who struck out the first two batters he faced and then gave up a triple to Tyler Collins and a homer to Iglesias. He came back and struck out the next batter.

“The ground ball down the right field line was well placed by them and then he got in a battle with Iglesias and Iglesias won,” Hinch said. “He should be proud that he made it to the big leagues and made his debut, but a little sour taste in his mouth just because of the home run.”

“My heart was pumping out there. It was surreal getting the ball for the first time to warm up for a Major League game, but really when I got out there wasn’t any nerves. I was excited.” — Jankowski on his debut.

Tigers: Justin Verlander, unbeaten in seven career outings against the Astros, will put that streak on the line when he gets the start in Thursday’s series finale at 8:10 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park. Verlander beat Houston twice last year, striking out 19 batters over 15 innings.

Astros:Right-hander Mike Fiers will start Thursday’s 7:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Fiers (1-2, 5.14 ERA) allowed one earned run in six innings Saturday, but took the loss..

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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