Luis Garcia worked seven innings for the third time in his career while Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado clubbed back-to-back home runs as the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to five games with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Detroit Tigers on Friday.
Garcia (2-1) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks with a career-high-tying nine strikeouts. The Tigers scratched out both tallies via run-scoring groundouts, with the second being an unearned run when Robbie Grossman walked leading off the third inning and advanced to second base after Javier Baez reached on an Alex Bregman fielding error. Grossman later scored when Jeimer Candelario rolled a grounder to shortstop Jeremy Pena.
Candelario was the second of 15 consecutive batters retired by Garcia to cap his outing. Garcia recorded a called third strike on Harold Castro to strand Baez at third in the third and later struck out five consecutive batters over the fifth and sixth innings, all swinging. Castro ended that run with a fly-ball out to close the sixth. Garcia closed his outing with a strikeout of Tucker Barnhart.
Garcia threw 91 pitches, 60 for strikes.
The Astros erased a one-run deficit with their three-run second inning. Pena started the two-out rally with a double and McCormick followed with his second home run of the season, a 408-foot shot to center that scored Pena and provided Houston a 2-1 lead. Three pitches later, Maldonado clubbed his second home run the opposite way to right to extend the advantage.
Houston did damage against Tigers rookie right-hander Beau Brieske (0-2), who allowed three runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five innings. Right-handed relievers Phil Maton and Rafael Montero worked a perfect inning apiece for Houston, with Montero handling the heart of the Detroit order to record his third save and preserve the Astros’ 10th victory in 13 games. Garcia, Maton and Montero combined to retire the final 21 Detroit batters.
Astros manager Dusty Baker earned his 2,003rd managerial victory to match Bruce Bochy for 11th all-time.
–Field Level Media