We finally got to see the Astros we’ve known and loved these last six years.
A team that can dominate both from the mound and from the batter’s box.
Today Cristian Javier put up the best performance of any Astros starting pitcher so far this year, looking like the Javier we hope contends for Cy Young this year.
Meanwhile, the long ball returned to the Astros’ hitting repertoire, with Chas McCormick, Kyle Tucker, And Jeremy Peña all hitting a homer and a double.
The Astros took the early 2-0 lead after a second-inning David Hensley single and a rare Chas McCormick pull-shot to the top of the Crawford Boxes.
But the Tigers small-balled their way back with a run in the third after Zach McKinstry bloop-singled to center and stole second. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Nick Maton infield hit to third.
The Astros put another crooked number up in the third. Kyle Tucker, who’s looking like an MVP candidate so far in this young season, solo-homered to right. Hensley then walked, followed by a ground-rule double by McCormick and a sac fly by Corey Julks that scored Hensley.
It looked like the Tigers were going to mount a threat in the seventh when Bryan Abreu walked his first two batters while throwing only one strike. But he struck out McKinstry and got pinch-hitter Javier Baez to ground into a double play.
In the Astros’ seventh, Jeremy Peña broke a series 0-13 streak with a double high off the Crawford Boxes wall. He moved to third on an error that put Alex Bregman on first and scored on a Yordan Alvarez sac fly. With two outs and on the tenth pitch, Kyle Tucker hit a shallow fly ball to right that got by Matt Vierling for a double and scored Bregman.
The Tigers took one back in the eighth when Riley Greene led off with a triple and scored on an Austin Meadows single, both hits off Rafael Montero.
But coming back? Fuggedaboutit.
Peña hit a two-run line-drive homer just into the Crawford Boxes to give the Astros the 8-2 lead that cemented the final Astros 8-2 victory over the Tigers. Alex Pressly closed the game with a perfect ninth.
The Astros had 11 hits, seven for extra bases, including two hits for rookie Corey Julks. Cristian Javier went six innings, allowing just one run on five hits, no walks, and five strikeouts.
The Astros go to Minnesota for their home opener, rescheduled for Friday due to expected snow tomorrow.