Tigers seek series split vs. Astros

MLB Baseball

The Detroit Tigers snapped the Houston Astros’ 11-game winning streak on Saturday. Detroit will try to gain a split of the four-game series on Sunday.

Houston won the series opener on Thursday. Following a rainout, the teams split a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, with the Tigers capturing the opener 3-1 and the Astros rallying for 3-2 triumph in the nightcap.

The Astros came up one win shy of their franchise record for consecutive victories.

“I felt a lot better after Game 1 than I do after Game 2,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch said. “I hate to lose to anybody, but our guys battled. It’s a really good team across the way. We put ourselves in a position to win and came up a little short in Game 2.”

Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa homered in the sixth inning of Game 2 to erase Detroit’s 2-0 lead.

“That was a big swing by Alvarez and an even bigger swing by Carlos Correa,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.

The Tigers couldn’t recover against Houston’s bullpen. Astros closer Ryan Pressly struck out the side in the seventh.

Detroit still holds a 4-2 lead in the season series. It swept Houston in a three-game road series in April.

“Our guys hung in there and did everything we asked,” Hinch said. “It would have been nice to pull off the sweep against a really good team. We split with them. We need to come back tomorrow ready to play a nine-inning game and get a series split.”

Tigers left-hander Tarik Skubal (4-7, 4.33 ERA), Sunday’s scheduled starter, labored through his last start and was removed one out before he was eligible for the win. Skubal gave up two runs on four hits and walked two in 4 2/3 innings while throwing 97 pitches against St. Louis on Tuesday.

“They foul off a lot of pitches and they don’t chase,” Hinch said afterward. “He was one out away from a solid outing. He’s going to leave frustrated that he didn’t get through his inning. But there were still bright spots.”

Skubal has three wins and two no-decisions in his last five starts. He’ll be facing the Astros for the first time.

Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 4.75), who will oppose Skubal, hasn’t given up an earned run in his last two appearances. He tossed four scoreless innings in a relief stint against Texas on June 15, then held Baltimore hitless in a five-inning start while striking out nine on Monday.

Odorizzi returned late last month after missing more than a month of action due to a right pronator muscle strain.

“The third time through they made an adjustment — they didn’t swing at the top of the zone ball,” Odorizzi said after his start against the Orioles. “But other than that, (I was) pretty much comfortable with what was working. I told you guys from the get-go, just give me some time. The more and more starts I get, the more I get back to normal.”

Odorizzi has made 13 career starts against the Tigers, posting a 6-2 record and 3.58 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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