Detroit at Houston

W: P. Coke (1-1) L: J. Williams (1-4) S: J. Nathan (17)
HR: DET - I. Kinsler (10)   HOU - A. Presley (4)

Kinsler's home run in 9th lifts Tigers over Astros wire reports

HOUSTON -- After coming up just short with the bases loaded in his previous at-bat, Ian Kinsler got another chance for a big hit in the ninth inning.

Kinsler came through, hitting a three-run homer with two outs to rally the Detroit Tigers past the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday after Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 13 batters.

Kinsler missed a chance to give Detroit the lead in the seventh when left fielder L.J. Hoes made a stellar catch for the final out of the inning.

"After that bases-loaded situation, I think Kins wanted to get some payback," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He had a good at-bat and obviously a huge hit."

Detroit trailed by one before Kinsler sent an 81 mph slider from Jerome Williams (1-4) to left-center for a 4-2 lead. Kinsler also had a double in his seventh straight multihit game and 33rd this season.

He said there's no real secret to his recent success.

"I've been getting some hits to fall in. That always helps," he said. "And when you've got Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez hitting behind you, that always helps, too."

Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez singled in the ninth before Kinsler connected. Suarez finished with three hits, including an RBI single in the fifth.

Scherzer, last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, gave up two runs in the first before settling in. He yielded seven hits and one walk in seven innings.

"Seven strong and had a bunch of strikeouts," Ausmus said. "That's what we were hoping to see from Max Scherzer on a fairly regular basis."

Phil Coke (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Joe Nathan allowed a leadoff homer in the ninth before earning his 17th save in 22 chances.

Detroit bounced right back after its seven-game winning streak was snapped with a 4-3 loss to the Astros in 11 innings Friday night.

Astros manager Bo Porter used closer Chad Qualls to face the middle of the order in the eighth, leaving Williams, who has allowed at least one run in eight of his last 11 appearances, to pitch the ninth.

"I made the decision to bring in our best reliever in the eighth inning with the heart of their lineup coming up with the thought process of, we might get to the ninth and there might be nothing to save," Porter said. "We were not able to close it out in the ninth inning, but if you give me that situation again with that part of the lineup coming up, I'll do the same thing."

Porter said he never considered sending Qualls out for a second inning because he pitched on Friday night, too.

Alex Presley had a two-run single in the first inning and added a solo homer in the ninth for Houston. Jose Altuve extended his tear at the plate, getting two hits with a pair of steals.

It was his major league-leading 34th multihit game this season and seventh in the last 10 games. Altuve leads the majors with 113 hits and the AL with 34 stolen bases.

Houston's Brett Oberholtzer was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make a spot start for Dallas Keuchel, who was scratched with inflammation in his left wrist. Oberholtzer allowed five hits and a run in 6 1-3 innings.

Astros rookies George Springer and Jon Singleton hit back-to-back singles with one out in the first inning. Springer advanced to third on Singleton's hit, and Singleton reached second on the throw. Presley's hit to center field scored them both to give Houston a 2-0 lead.

Castellanos drew a walk with one out in the seventh and Bryan Holaday singled to chase Oberholtzer. Suarez singled off Josh Zeid to load the bases before Rajai Davis grounded into a force at the plate. Hoes sprinted to make a diving catch on a ball hit by Kinsler to end that threat.

Scherzer had struck out five of six when Marwin Gonzalez singled to start the seventh. But he was caught trying to steal second.

It was the third time Scherzer has fanned at least 13 in his career. He had his most strikeouts since fanning a career-high 15 in 2012 against Pittsburgh.


Porter said the Astros don't think the problem with Keuchel is serious and they expect him to make his next scheduled start. ... The series wraps up Sunday when Houston's Scott Feldman opposes Drew Smyly. ... Astros reliever Jake Buchanan, who picked up his first major league win Friday night, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for Oberholtzer. ... Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler was out of the lineup for the second straight game with tightness in his back. ... Altuve became the first player in the majors to get multiple steals in three straight games since B.J. Upton did it for the Rays in 2009. It was Altuve's fifth straight game with at least one steal, which ties a franchise record.

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Players of the Game

I. Kinsler
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

A. Presley
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
Rajai Davis, CF-LF3000105 .274
Ian Kinsler, 2B5123006 .308
Miguel Cabrera, DH5000011 .315
Victor Martinez, 1B4000001 .323
J.D. Martinez, LF4010020 .311
   Don Kelly, 3B0000000 .233
Torii Hunter, RF4110001 .256
Nick Castellanos, 3B3010101 .267
   Austin Jackson, PR-CF0100000 .249
Bryan Holaday, C3020000 .306
   a-Alex Avila, PH-C1000011 .230
Eugenio Suarez, SS4131010 .300
Max Scherzer, P0000000 .000
   Phil Coke, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Holaday in the 9th
2B - Ian Kinsler (25, Oberholtzer), J.D. Martinez (14, Qualls)
HR - Ian Kinsler (10, Williams)
SH - Rajai Davis (1)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 3 (42), Eugenio Suarez (8)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler 3 (13)
Team LOB - 8
Detroit Tigers
Max Scherzer 77221130 3.64
Phil Coke (W,1-1) 1000010 5.34
Joe Nathan (S,17) 1111011 6.37
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 112-73, Phil Coke 17-9, Joe Nathan 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 2-5, Phil Coke 1-1
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 28, Phil Coke 3, Joe Nathan 4
Houston Astros
Jose Altuve, 2B4020000 .343
George Springer, RF4110023 .242
Jon Singleton, 1B4110032 .200
Jason Castro, C4000033 .218
Alex Presley, CF4123010 .239
Matt Dominguez, 3B3000111 .230
Chris Carter, DH4000041 .184
Marwin Gonzalez, SS4020000 .265
L.J. Hoes, LF3000011 .195
Brett Oberholtzer, P0000000 .000
   Josh Zeid, P0000000 .000
   Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   Jerome Williams, P0000000 .000
HR - Alex Presley (4, Nathan)
RBI - Alex Presley 3 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Presley 2 (4)
SB - Jose Altuve 2 (34, 2nd base off Scherzer/Holaday), Marwin Gonzalez (1, 3rd base off Scherzer/Holaday)
CS - Marwin Gonzalez (3, 2nd base by Scherzer/Holaday)
Team LOB - 5
Houston Astros
Brett Oberholtzer 6.1511240 4.40
Josh Zeid (H,2) 0.2100000 3.86
Chad Qualls (H,2) 1100000 1.91
Jerome Williams (L,1-4; BS,3) 1333011 5.91
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Oberholtzer 88-60, Josh Zeid 19-12, Chad Qualls 12-8, Jerome Williams 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Oberholtzer 3-12, Josh Zeid 1-1, Chad Qualls 2-1, Jerome Williams 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Oberholtzer 26, Josh Zeid 3, Chad Qualls 4, Jerome Williams 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25788
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Mark Ripperger, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Kerwin Danley