American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 4
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (17-11) at Houston Astros (8-22), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (3-0, 4.02)
Houston - Lucas Harrell (3-2, 3.60)
(Sports Network) - Two teams traveling in opposite directions get together at
Minute Maid Park on Saturday night as the slumping Houston Astros entertain
the Detroit Tigers in the third game of a four-game set.
Houston, which has made the transition to the American League from the NL, has
found the move rather rocky and at this point is tied for the fewest wins in
the majors with Miami at eight. Already 10 1/2 games out of contention in the
AL West, the Astros fell for the fourth straight time and dropped their eighth
in the last nine outings with their 4-3 setback on Friday.
Holding a 3-2 advantage heading into the ninth inning, the Astros turned to
Jose Veras to close out the contest, but he gave up two runs on just one hit
and a walk as Alex Avila delivered with a one-out, two-run home run that also
scored Don Kelly.
"It felt amazing," Avila said of his fourth home run of the season. "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 good."
Bud Norris pitched a solid seven innings for the hosts, permitting two runs on
five hits and three walks, fanning seven, but the bullpen failed to hold up
Jose Altuve logged three hits for the hosts, another two coming from Matt
Picking up the win for the Tigers was Drew Smyly, while the save went to Jose
Valverde. Doug Fister didn't factor into the decision, as the starter
scattered nine hits, leading to a pair of earned runs, while striking out four
over six innings of action.
"You got to keep it close," said Smyly. "They had a chance to break it open.
We had to keep it close. A one-run game in the ninth, anything can happen.
That home run was awesome."
Ahead of Kansas City for first place in the AL Central by only a half game,
Detroit has won two straight and seven of the last eight overall.
Coming off his third double-digit strikeout effort of the season on Monday,
Max Scherzer is set to take the hill again for the Tigers tonight. The right-
hander, already 1-1 in his career versus Houston, registered his third win in
as many decisions earlier this week when Detroit recorded a 4-3 victory over
Minnesota at home.
In that outing Scherzer lasted 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six
hits, while striking out 10 without issuing a single base-on-balls. The
Missouri product now has 46 strikeouts through 31 1/3 innings, against only
As for the Astros, they have right-hander Lucas Harrell preparing to counter
on the mound. Harrell, who started his major league career with the Chicago
White Sox but has yet to record a decision against Detroit, has won three
straight outings heading into the weekend.
Earlier this week Harrell allowed just one run on eight hits and a walk
through 6 1/3 innings of action in a 9-1 victory over the Yankees in New York.
The Astros have generated a total of 22 runs in the three wins for Harrell but
only seven in the other three outings for the hurler.
Detroit swept the Astros in their three-game set at home back in 2006 before
losing two of three in Houston during the 2009 campaign.
05/04 10:34:15 ET
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