Kinsler’s HR In 9th Lifts Tigers Over Astros 4-3
HOUSTON (AP) — Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to rally the Detroit Tigers past the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday after Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 13 batters.
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.
Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez both 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.
Phil Coke (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Joe Nathan allowed a run in the ninth before earning his 17th save in 22 chances.
Astros manager Bo Porter used closer Chad Qualls to face the heart 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.
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. He 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.
Houston left fielder L.J. 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, and his most strikeouts since he had a career-high 15 in 2012 against Pittsburgh.
NOTES: 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. … The Tigers agreed to terms with their fifth-round draft pick, C Shane Zeile, and their ninth-round selection, RHP Josh Laxer.
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