Bo Porter after the four-game sweep to Tigers
Carlos Pena broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hitter with a single to right field in the seventh inning.
But Astros starter Philip Humber gave up six runs in the first two frames as Houston was shut out by Detroit, 9-0, on Sunday. The Tigers swept the four-game series at Minute Maid Park.
Starters: RHP Philip Humber struggled early, giving up two runs in the first and four more in the second, including a two-run home run in each inning. He faced 10 batters in the second and lasted just four innings. His ERA jumped from 7.58 to 8.82.
Humber’s line: 4 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 HR; 91 pitches (55 strikes)
Despite his control being slightly off, Tigers RHP Justin Verlander had a no-hitter going through six (98 pitches), but he finally gave up back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh.
Verlander’s line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K; 116 pitches (80 strikes)
Bullpen: LHP Erik Bedard, who was moved to the bullpen for what manager Bo Porter says is an indefinite amount of time, relieved Humber in the fifth and retired all three batters he faced.
The only run he gave up in 3 1/3 innings was a solo home run to Omar Infante in the eighth. He allowed two hits while walking two and striking out three.
Travis Blackley came on with one out, one on in the eighth and immediate gave up a single but then induced a double play to end the inning. Wesley Wright pitched the ninth inning, allowing hits to the first two batters he faced but then got three straight outs to end the inning.
Darin Downs pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game for the Tigers.
At the plate: After Pena broke up Verlander’s no-hitter in the seventh, Carlos Corporan followed with a single to left for back-to-back hits off Verlander. Pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth and then Ronny Cedeno and Robbie Grossman each had singles but were left stranded.
The Astros added to their league-leading strikeout total with 13 more on Saturday.
The Tigers belted out 13 hits, including four home runs, three of those off Humber.
In the field: In the first, Grossman made a running catch of a deeply hit Cabrera ball on the warning track – just in front of the 404 foot sign. Rick Ankiel made a running, diving catch of a Victor Martinez line drive in the second. The Astros entered the game with a league-leading 41 double plays turned and 3B Brandon Laird and 2B Marwin Gonzalez added another in the top of the eighth.
Miguel Cabrera had another gem at third base for the Tigers when he made a diving stop of a sharply hit Brandon Laird grounder – as he rolled and tumbled, nailed a throw from his back to first base for the out.
Fielder bobbled a hit by Gonzalez to lead off the sixth but doubled him off at first when he caught a Grossman line drive.
Tigers OF Austin Jackson had a nice running catch in center field to end the game.
Injury update: OF J.D. Martinez continues his rehab assignment with Double A Corpus Christi. In four games, he is hitting .200 (3-for-15). He has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 20 with a sprained right knee.
Up Next: The Astros will have a day off on Monday before continuing their longest homestand of the season. First up is a three-game series with the Angels beginning on Tuesday. RHP Jordan Lyles (0-0, 3.60) will start for Houston while LHP C.J. Wilson (3-0, 4.04) takes the mound for Los Angeles.