Final Score: Detroit 4, Houston 3
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Alex Avila ripped a two-run homer in the top of
the ninth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Houston
Astros in the second of a four-game set from Minute Maid Park.
Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth, Avila worked a 3-1 count with one away and
Don Kelly on first before delivering the decisive blow to right-center field
off Jose Veras (0-2).
"It felt amazing," Avila said. "I'm sure my expression on the field said it
all. When you're struggling and you do something good on the field, it feels
Doug Fister started for Detroit and scattered nine hits and three runs - two
earned - in six-plus innings. Drew Smyly (2-0) tossed two perfect innings of
relief to earn the win.
Jose Valverde locked the door for his third save in as many opportunities
since re-joining the Tigers earlier this season.
Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Astros, who dropped their fourth
straight game behind Bud Norris, who struck out seven while yielding just two
runs in seven innings of work.
"Bud Norris did what a top starter does when his team is light in the bullpen
after a 14-inning games," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "He went out there
for seven innings and pitched like a top starter and held one of the best
offensive teams in our league to two runs."
Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Matt Dominguez led off
with a double to left and advanced to third on Rick Ankiel's single. Marwin
Gonzalez then reached when Omar Infante muffed a ground ball, and Dominguez
came around for Houston's first run.
Robbie Grossman then roped a single to left, plating Ankiel, and Altuve's
sharp grounder up the middle went under Fister's glove and ricocheted off
second base, giving him enough time to leg out an infield single. Gonzalez
trotted home and the Astros had the lead before a single out had been recorded
in the inning.
Smyly replaced Fister on the hill and avoided further damage by retiring the
next three batters in order.
The Tigers scored one run apiece in the second and fourth innings off Norris.
Jhonny Peralta put them on the board with an RBI single to left in the second
and Victor Martinez gave them some insurance two innings later with a single
of his own, plating Miguel Cabrera.
Prince Fielder went 0-for-1 with three walks ... Houston was 3-for-10 with
runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.
05/04 03:06:23 ET
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