Saturday, May 04, 2013 11:49 pm
Harrell hammered in Astros' 17-2 loss to Tigers
By JORDAN GODWINAssociated Press
In a 17-2 blowout, the Houston Astros suffered their most lopsided loss since 2011 after a rocky outing by starter Lucas Harrell.
"What you witnessed was why they were the American League champions last year," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "They rolled out their A game, and it was pretty impressive."
After cruising through his last four starts with a 3-0 record and a 1.82 ERA, Harrell was hammered for eight runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and four walks in 4 1-3 innings. His ERA ballooned from 3.60 to 5.03.
"They wanted to attack from the start, and you're talking about some pretty good hitters that got some pitches in the strike zone," Porter said. "They didn't miss them."
Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs and tied a career-high with six RBIs.
Cabrera drove in six runs for the fifth time in his career. The last time was against Oakland on Sept. 18, 2012. Cabrera has 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats over his last five games.
Torii Hunter had four hits and drove in two runs as every Tigers starter had a hit. Victor Martinez drove in four and had a two-run homer in the ninth. The 17 runs are the most scored by the Tigers since Sept. 4, 2011, when they had 18 against the White Sox. The 15-run loss was Houston's most lopsided defeat since a 19-3 loss to Colorado on Sept. 25, 2011.
Houston (8-23) has the worst record in the majors, having lost five in a row and nine of its last 10 games.
Cabrera followed singles by Austin Jackson and Hunter with an RBI single to make it 1-0, and two batters later, Andy Dirks doubled to score two more. Two batters later, Jhonny Peralta singled to bring home Dirks and give Detroit a 4-0 lead.
Cabrera upped the lead to 6-0 in the second with a monstrous two-run home run off the facade in left field.
Detroit made it 7-0 in the fourth with a bases-loaded walk by Cabrera, and Alex Avila extended the lead to 8-0 with an RBI double in the fifth.
Detroit scored at least one run in every inning except the third.
"I'm really not all that mad about it," Harrell said. "I made some really good pitches, in that first inning, especially. Cabrera got weak contact with two on and nobody out when we were trying to get a double-play. I made some good, quality pitches, but they just made better hits."
On the other hand, the Astros hitters struggled to make contact against Detroit starter Max Scherzer (4-0), who won his fourth straight to begin the season, allowing one run on three hits and striking out eight in eight innings. Detroit has won its first three games against Houston and has won eight of its last nine.
"It's pretty evident that they played better than us," Porter said. "They swung the bat better than us, and they pitched better than us. The best thing about it is that this is baseball, and that only counted as one loss. The calendar rolls tomorrow, this game is over, and we'll come back tomorrow focused on the next game."
Scherzer allowed a leadoff single to Robbie Grossman in the first and sent down the next 16 batters until Matt Dominguez hit a two-out single in the sixth.
Cabrera started the sixth by sending a Jose Cisnero offering off the facade in deep left field, his second home run making it 9-0 and giving him his 26th multi-homer game.
Hunter, Cabrera and Prince Fielder added run-scoring singles in the seventh, and Peralta, Omar Infante and Hunter each had an RBI in the eighth.
Carlos Corporan ended the shutout with a solo home run in the seventh, and Jason Castro had a run-scoring single in the ninth.
NOTES: Detroit Tigers reliever Drew Smyly has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings dating to April 12 following two scoreless innings Friday night. ... Detroit OF Jackson extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. ... Houston entered Saturday's game leading the majors with 40 double plays turned. ... RHP Philip Humber (0-6.7.58 ERA) goes to the mound for the Astros Sunday in search of his first win of the season, while Tigers will counter with RHP Justin Verlander, who is 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA.