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Houston at Detroit

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Houston (10-30)020000000250
Detroit (22-15) «00003210x6100

Fister goes 7 strong, Cabrera HRs in Tigers' win vs. Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- By the time Miguel Cabrera's homer sailed deep into the seats in left field, the Detroit Tigers were already in control -- thanks to some unexpected contributions from the bottom of their batting order.

Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago drove in a run each during a two-out rally in the fifth inning, and the Tigers went on to beat the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday night. Detroit scored three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth before Cabrera gave the Tigers their final run with a solo shot in the seventh.

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Kelly entered the game with one RBI, and Santiago didn't have any.

"It's good for the team," Kelly said. "All you want to do is win, and any way you can help out is big."

Doug Fister (5-1) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven without a walk.

Lucas Harrell (3-4) allowed five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. The Astros have lost six straight and 16 of 19.

Harrell was impressive for the first four innings but couldn't hold off the Tigers, even on a night when Santiago was filling in for shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Kelly was in center field in place of injured Austin Jackson.

Kelly was hitting .200 entering the game, but his two-out RBI single in the fifth got the Tigers on the scoreboard. Santiago, who was hitting .154 coming in, drove in Kelly with a tying double.

"You don't want to be the last out. You want to keep going," Santiago said. "Those RBI with two outs, they are big."

Andy Dirks put Detroit ahead 3-2 with a double to right-center that bounced over the tallest section of the Comerica Park wall, scoring Santiago.

"We're trying some new things with our defense, and I thought they worked against me tonight," Harrell said. "The ball that Dirks hit was up there forever, and I thought someone might have caught that one. He hit it hard, and that's my fault, but I was hoping someone would get there."

The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Victor Martinez and a wild pitch by reliever Travis Blackley that allowed Prince Fielder to score.

There was no doubt about Cabrera's eighth homer of the year. J.D. Martinez, the left fielder, stared into the crowd for several seconds in apparent disbelief after the ball cleared the fence with plenty of room to spare.

Detroit has won all six matchups with the Astros this season, by a combined 50-12. This one was more competitive than Harrell's previous start against the Tigers, which Detroit won 17-2 earlier this month.

Houston was without standout second baseman Jose Altuve, who went on the bereavement list Tuesday following the death of his grandmother.

The Astros had turned a major league-high 52 double plays entering Tuesday's game, and they added two more to that total in the first four innings. Houston took the lead in the second when J.D. Martinez hit an RBI double and Jimmy Paredes added a sacrifice fly.

But Fister retired 12 in a row after a third-inning single by Jake Elmore. He gave up a double to Martinez in the seventh but struck out the next two hitters to finish his night on a high note.

"We have spurts where we have good at-bats, but there are other times where we miss the pitch we need to hit, or when we are taking the pitches we need to attack," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "The key to making it in this league is figuring out the pitchers and how they are trying to get you out. You need to be able to adjust to the way they are attacking you, and we aren't there yet."

Notes

  • Houston is 10-30, the worst start by a major league team since Kansas City was also 10-30 en route to a 100-loss season in 2006, according to STATS.
  • The Tigers go for a three-game sweep Wednesday. Detroit's Max Scherzer (5-0) takes the mound against Houston's Dallas Keuchel (0-1).
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Andy Dirks provides an RBI double to break a fifth-inning tie in the Tigers' victory against the Astros. (Getty Images)
Andy Dirks provides an RBI double to break a fifth-inning tie in the Tigers' victory against the Astros. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

J. Martinez
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Robbie Grossman, CF4000020 .200
Jake Elmore, 2B4010010 .250
Jason Castro, C4000011 .241
Chris Carter, 1B4110011 .222
Carlos Pena, DH4110020 .231
J.D. Martinez, LF3021000 .242
Jimmy Paredes, RF2001011 .185
Matt Dominguez, 3B3000022 .250
Marwin Gonzalez, SS3000011 .260
Totals31252011  
Batting
2B - J.D. Martinez 2 (7, Fister, Fister)
SF - Jimmy Paredes (1)
RBI - J.D. Martinez (8), Jimmy Paredes (3)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Dominguez-Elmore-Carter, Carter
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lucas Harrell (L,3-4) 5755310 5.11
Travis Blackley 1.1000120 3.95
Hector Ambriz 0.1111011 6.11
Wesley Wright 1.1200020 2.60
HBP - Fielder (by Wesley Wright)
WP - Lucas Harrell (3), Travis Blackley 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Lucas Harrell 98-56, Travis Blackley 22-13, Hector Ambriz 9-5, Wesley Wright 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lucas Harrell 8-4, Travis Blackley 2-0, Wesley Wright 2-0
Batters Faced - Lucas Harrell 23, Travis Blackley 5, Hector Ambriz 2, Wesley Wright 7
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andy Dirks, LF5011001 .257
Torii Hunter, RF4010021 .331
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3221101 .375
Prince Fielder, 1B2100101 .285
Victor Martinez, DH4021000 .221
Alex Avila, C3000114 .184
Omar Infante, 2B3120101 .320
Don Kelly, CF2111000 .213
   a- Avisail Garcia, PH-CF2000013 .000
Ramon Santiago, SS4111023 .167
Totals32610546  
a-grounded out for Kelly in the 6th
Batting
2B - Andy Dirks (3, Harrell), Miguel Cabrera (10, Harrell), Ramon Santiago (2, Harrell)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (8, Ambriz)
RBI - Andy Dirks (13), Miguel Cabrera (41), Victor Martinez (18), Don Kelly (2), Ramon Santiago (1)
2-OUT RBI - Andy Dirks (4), Miguel Cabrera (22), Don Kelly (1), Ramon Santiago (1)
SB - Omar Infante (2, 2nd base off Harrell/Castro)
Team LOB - 7
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Fister (W,5-1) 7522070 3.06
Joaquin Benoit 1000020 1.50
Jose Valverde 1000020 1.29
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 108-73, Joaquin Benoit 14-8, Jose Valverde 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 5-9, Jose Valverde 1-0
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 26, Joaquin Benoit 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34542
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Jim Joyce