Club erases first-inning deficit, then scores seven in following frame to set winning tone
By Kyle Beery
DETROIT -- The Tigers found themselves behind quickly when Matt Boyd allowed a two-run homer to Jose Altuve in the first inning. But not only were they able to bounce back and tie it in the bottom of the frame, they pounced on Collin McHugh for a big seven-run second that set the tone for the team's 14-6 win over the Astros on Friday night at Comerica Park.
After Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out to begin the inning, the Tigers strung together four straight hits to take a 5-2 lead. After Nick Castellanos recorded his second RBI single to make it 6-2, Tyler Collins got ahold of a 2-2 changeup left over the heart of the plate, and he sent it soaring into the right-field seats for a two-out, three-run homer.
"That was the hit that opened up the game," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It gives you some breathing room. It was one of the bigger hits of the game, if not the biggest."
Cameron Maybin hit a two-run double to open the scoring in the second inning, then was quickly driven in by a Miguel Cabrera single. Maybin finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
"He swung the bat great," Ausmus said. "Maybe the three days off refreshed him. I'm not sure, but he looked good at the plate."
The Tigers banged out seven of their 16 hits in the second inning and drove McHugh out of the game after peppering him for 10 hits and eight runs over 1 2/3 innings. The 14-run night comes on the heels of a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park in which the Tigers scored 17 runs. They have won four straight.
Boyd (2-2, 4.71 ERA) picked up the win, allowing three runs over five innings. He was thrilled to see his teammates give him a good deal of run support.
"It was awesome," Boyd said. "The boys swung it really well. Played some great defense. Good way to start the series."
Collins followed up his dinger with a leadoff triple in the fifth inning. He finished 2-for-4 and is hitting .276 in 10 games since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo in mid-July. He has hit safely in seven of those games, and Friday was his first multi-hit game of the season.
His second stint of the season with the Tigers may be nearing its end, however, with right fielder J.D. Martinez (elbow fracture) on a rehab assignment in Toledo. It seems likely that Collins will be sent back down when Martinez returns, but Ausmus said Collins' recent run of good hitting is helping his case.
"The better he plays, the more we have to think about keeping him," Ausmus said. "In fact, he seems to be learning to slow the game down a little bit."
Friday's win helped the Tigers keep pace in the American League Central (4 1/2 games back), while pulling within a half-game of the Astros as they chase Boston and Toronto in the Wild Card race (2 games back).
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.