Tigers' bats come alive late to top Astros

Tigers' bats come alive late to top Astros

HOUSTON -- The Tigers broke a tie by scoring twice in the eighth inning against Astros relief ace Chris Devenski, and Jose Iglesias capped a big night with a two-run homer in the ninth as the Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

After Astros starter Charlie Morton gave up two runs in seven innings and Tigers starter Daniel Norris allowed two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings, Iglesias (3-for-4) led off the eighth with a double and Ian Kinsler followed with a single, with Kinsler taking second base when Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick overthrew the cutoff man on the infield.

Morton finishes strong in loss

Norris strikes out Beltran

"It took a little time, but we got the bats going today," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Iglesias scored on Alex Avila's groundout to put the Tigers ahead, 3-2, and Victor Martinez pushed home Kinsler on a fielder's choice two batters later to increase Detroit's lead to two. Tigers pitchers sent down 16 consecutive batters after a sac fly by Norichika Aoki tied it at 2 in the fourth. That streak was broken when Alex Bregman (3-for-4) homered with two outs in the ninth.

"I would have traded that night for a win, but that's baseball," Bregman said. "We've got to come back out here tomorrow and get after it and compete and try to win a series."

Statcast: Houston's short porch

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tigers get to Devo: Devenski allowed two earned runs in the eighth to suffer his third loss, marking only the third time in 16 outings this year he's allowed multiple runs in a game. Devenski, who leads all Major League relievers in strikeouts, faced six batters and didn't strike out a batter for only the second time this year.

"It was a little bit of bad luck, little bit of rough start to the inning, and they found a way to push across a couple of runs," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch.

Uptown tracks one down:The stellar relief work by the Tigers was bolstered with some terrific defense by left fielder Justin Upton, who made a long run into the gap in left-center to start the eighth to snag a ball off the bat of Marwin Gonzalez. Tigers reliever Shane Greene retired the next two batters in order for a clean inning. Upton's play had a catch probability of 26 percent, according to Statcast™.

Upton's leaping grab on the move

QUOTABLE
"We have the potential to be a very good starting rotation with the five guys we have right now. Me and Kinsler talk about it all the time. Usually with any one of those guys, we'd feel confident winning the game, because on any given night they can shut down any team. It's a matter of putting several starts in a row together like that. We've gotten that. Offensively, we've been struggling this series to pick up the ball and get big hits in general. Today we were able to put some runs on the board." -- Avila on Tigers pitching recently

Norris doesn't buckle after slow start

JANKOWSKI MAKES DEBUT
It was an eventful Major League debut for Astros reliever Jordan Jankowski, who struck out the first two batters he faced and then gave up a triple to Tyler Collins and a homer to Iglesias. He came back and struck out the next batter.

"The ground ball down the right-field line was well placed by them and then he got in a battle with Iglesias and Iglesias won," Hinch said. "He should be proud that he made it to the big leagues and made his debut, but a little sour taste in his mouth just because of the home run."

Jankowski's first MLB strikeout

OPTIONAL SECTION
"My heart was pumping out there. It was surreal getting the ball for the first time to warm up for a Major League game, but really when I got out there wasn't any nerves. I was excited." -- Jankowski on his debut

WHAT'S NEXT
Tigers: Justin Verlander, unbeaten in seven career outings against the Astros, will put that streak on the line when he gets the start in Thursday's series finale at 8:10 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park. Verlander beat Houston twice last year, striking out 19 batters over 15 innings.

Astros: Right-hander Mike Fiers will start Thursday's 7:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Fiers (1-2, 5.14 ERA) allowed one earned run in six innings Saturday, but took the loss..

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.