The Astros continued their relentless offensive onslaught of the past week into Tuesday, as they easily dispatched the Detroit Tigers 11-4. The win marked their seventh in a row, as well as their tenth in their last eleven games.
Things started off pretty fast, as the lineup started teeing off on recent call-up Ryan Carpenter (in only his second start of the year) in the first inning. George Springer walked on a nine-pitch plate appearance to start the game, Alex Bregman singled him over, then Carlos Correa brought them both in with a home run to center. The shot brings him to double digits on the year
The three spot that followed in the second was a little less awe-inspiring than that blast, but it counted all the same as the home run. After Josh Reddick, Springer, and Bregman loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, Michael Brantley brought two of them in on a ground ball that just got by second baseman Josh Harrison, then Correa added the third run on a throwing error by third baseman Gordon Beckham.
There were no more major outbursts like that the rest of the game, but there was a pretty consistent chipping away at a weary Tigers staff. Houston added a single run in every inning after the second outside of the seventh and ninth. Carpenter didn’t make it to the fifth, making him the fourth straight starter to fail to do so against the Astros.
And while the tension was pretty firmly dissipated at this point, the remaining scoring was still pretty exciting. Aledmys Diaz added a home run (his fifth in the season) in the fourth. Diaz would also single in Brantley in the sixth after his leadoff double. And then, there were a pair of triples that came around to score, with Yuli Gurriel singling in Correa after his triple in the fourth and Diaz hitting a sac fly in the eighth to score tripling pinch hitter Tony Kemp.
But the most exciting run had to be George Springer in the fifth. After an awkward bounce off of the wall, George wasn’t content to stop at third, and instead went for a full inside-the-park homer. That dinger marked his sixteenth on the year, tying him with Major League leader Christian Yelich and increasing his AL lead to three. As some interesting trivia, that marks the Astros’ first road inside-the-park home run since way back in 2002, when Lance Berkman pulled it off.
In addition to Springer (2-3, 2 walks, HR, 3 R, RBI), Correa (2-5, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R), and Diaz (2-3, HR, BB, 3 RBI, R), Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick also posted multi-hit games. Brantley increased his team-leading average to .335 with a 2-5 performance, while Reddick picked up three singles in five at-bats. Also of note, the three home runs give the Astros a two-dinger lead on the Mariners for the team home run lead, although the M’s have yet to play today (while also having more overall games played).
On the pitching side of things, Wade Miley wasn’t as sharp as usual, with his run of starts allowing three or fewer earned runs coming to an end at 24, but it didn’t matter much. In the end, he made it through six innings while allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. The big mistake was a home run allowed to Ronny Rodriguez in his final inning of work, but outside of that he managed five strikeouts. Collin McHugh had two perfect innings of work after that, including striking out the last four batters he faced, but he was denied the opportunity to pick up a rather laughable save in order to get Framber Valdez some work in the ninth.
The win moves the Astros to 28-15 on the year, seven games ahead of the Angels for the AL West lead (as well as a game and a half better than the AL East and Central leading Rays and Twins, and a game better than the NL-best Dodgers). Houston will go for the sweep in the series tomorrow, as well as their eighth-straight win, behind former Tiger legend Justin Verlander, who makes his third career start against them. The taxed Tigers rotation will in turn send up a young upstart named “To Be Decided”, so look forward to that, I’m sure it will be exciting.