By DAVE HOGG/Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) – Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings in what could be his last start with the Detroit Tigers, beating the Houston Astros 13-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Justin Upton matched a career best with six RBIs for the Tigers, who handed the Astros their first back-to-back losses since June 12-13.
Upton had four hits, including a seventh-inning grand slam, and scored twice.
In his last start before Monday’s trade deadline, Verlander (6-7) gave up five singles and three walks while striking out six.
The subject of trade rumors since last winter, Verlander received a long standing ovation from the crowd of 31,970 when he walked off the mound after the sixth inning.
Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3), whose dad pitched for the Tigers in 1990, allowed five runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.
Houston first baseman Tyler White pitched the eighth, allowing a two-run homer to James McCann in his second career pitching performance.
Verlander stranded eight batters in the first four innings, but needed 90 pitches to do it. McCullers was almost as good, only allowing one of eight runners to score and leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.
The Tigers broke through in the second on an RBI single by Jose Iglesias. Miguel Cabrera made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the fifth, and he later scored on McCann’s single.
Mikie Mahtook added an RBI double in the sixth, and Upton followed with a two-run double to put the Tigers up 6-0.
The Tigers added five runs off Tony Sipp in the seventh, including Upton’s sixth career grand slam.
Alex Bregman ended the shutout with a solo homer in the ninth. Houston’s streak of 60 games with a double came to an end.
Astros: Placed RHP Will Harris back on the disabled list with continued inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Harris was activated on Friday, but had soreness after playing catch, and when the pain didn’t go away on Saturday, the decision was made to put him back on the DL. LHP Reymin Guduan was recalled from Triple-A Fresno.
Tigers: 2B Ian Kinsler got a regularly scheduled day off Sunday. C James McCann caught the day game after a night game.
TIES TO COOPERSTOWN
Both teams were represented in Sunday’s Hall of Fame class. Jeff Bagwell played his entire 15-year career with Houston, finishing with 2.314 hits and 449 homers, while Ivan Rodriguez was a four-time All-Star in Detroit, helping the team win the 2006 American League pennant.
CABRERA CLIMBS THE LADDER
With his two hits, Cabrera moved from 81st on the career hits list into a tie for 79th. He now has 2,605, one more than Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville and the same number as newly inducted Hall of Famer Tim Raines. Cabrera needs 39 more hits to catch 78th-place Lave Cross, a 19th-century third baseman.
Astros: Houston returns home for a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Charlie Morton (8-4, 3.83) is scheduled to face Alex Cobb in Monday’s opener.
Tigers: Detroit leaves on a three-city, nine-game road trip that begins Monday at Yankee Stadium. Michael Fulmer (10-8, 3.35) will face New York’s Luis Severino.
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)