Tigers run winning streak to six games

DETROIT — For every punch, the Detroit Tigers had a counter.

In Friday night’s series opener against the Houston Astros, they answered two runs in the top of the first inning with four in the bottom half.

On Saturday night, they answered two runs in the top of the ninth with a walk-off winner in the bottom half.

Sunday at Comerica Park, there were no punches to answer. There were only the Astros, punched over and over again by the Tigers’ powerful bats. But there was this: There was Scott Feldman, hitting Cameron Maybin intentionally in the seventh inning – in retaliation for a pair of plunkings to George Springer and Jose Altuve – with Miguel Cabrera coming up next.

Cabrera then knocked the Astros (55-49) out for good, uncorking his second home run of the game. He stared into the visiting dugout on the way to first base. He told Maybin repeatedly, “I got you!” on the way to home plate. The Tigers clobbered the Astros, 11-0.

One day before the trade deadline, the Tigers (57-48) have won six straight games. They have swept two teams contending with them for an American League playoff spot and are nine games over .500.

They started playing with more concentration earlier in the week in Boston, manager Brad Ausmus said, and it showed on this day early, as they dismantled Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, the defending AL Cy Young Award winner.

The Tigers opened by putting the first four men on, scoring once. Justin Upton hit an RBI single for
another. Then, with two outs, James McCann hit a grand slam to left-centerfield against his former college teammate at Arkansas to make it 6-0. It was McCann’s first career grand slam.

It was much more than enough for righty Mike Pelfrey and the Tigers’ bullpen.

Pelfrey was solid, pitching five scoreless innings. He allowed four hits, one walk and struck out five. Four Tigers – Alex Wilson, Bruce Rondon, Kyle Ryan and Mark Lowe – pitched scoreless innings in relief.

Cabrera hit his first home run of the day on a line to rightfield in the fifth inning. He has hit 10 opposite field home runs this season, which leads the major leagues. Jose Iglesias delivered a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning before Cabrera and Justin Upton homered in the seventh inning off Feldman. For Upton, it was his 13th home run of the season.

With the win, the Tigers stand a half game behind the AL’s second wild card spot.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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