Tigers disappointed with 3-4 homestand
Loss to Astros in Sunday's finale frustrates Ausmus
DETROIT -- The Tigers' 10-8 loss to the Astros at Comerica Park on Sunday afternoon completed a 3-4 homestand, dropping them into third place in the American League Central.
After winning the first two of the four-game series against Houston, Detroit settled for a split, and Sunday's defeat seemed to frustrate manager Brad Ausmus more than others.
"This one bothered me," he said. "I thought we were sloppy, and, as manager, I'm partially to blame for that. It disturbs me when we score eight runs and we lose. We shouldn't be losing with eight runs scored, simple as that."
Despite having made solid defensive plays all series, the Tigers had a lapse in the eighth inning, when no one covered second base during a rundown. The mishap resulted in catcher Bryan Holaday attempting to apply the tag on Marwin Gonzalez as he dove safely into second.
Detroit also couldn't retire Gonzalez in the first inning, when he reached base on an infield hit to first base. Two batters later, Evan Gattis hit a two-run triple, the beginning of a difficult game for starter Anibal Sanchez.
The right-hander was pulled after 5 2/3 innings in a 7-7 game, and the Tigers' bullpen surrendered three more runs to spoil a solid offensive showing.
"I think it's a disappointing homestand -- especially today," said Ausmus, whose team dropped two of three to the Brewers before hosting Houston. "If we score eight runs, we need to win that game. Period."
The Astros continued to prove themselves while earning the split. Gattis and Preston Tucker, who both homered off Sanchez in the sixth inning on Sunday, did so on well-located offspeed pitches, and rookie right-hander Lance McCullers had a triple play turned behind him on Saturday that changed momentum.
That was of little comfort to the Tigers, though, who felt they had missed opportunities throughout the homestand. In Game 1 against the Brewers and Game 3 against the Astros, for instance, good pitching performances were paired with cold nights at the plate. Both games ended in 3-2 losses for Detroit.
"I'd say [the homestand] was disappointing, just because, with our team, we're capable of winning every game we play," said third baseman Nick Castellanos. "Obviously, that's not going to happen, but there's no excuse why we can't win a series against the Brewers, and then we should have won the series against Houston, but it just didn't work out."
The Tigers, who remain a season-high three games behind the division-leading Royals, continue with seven games on the road -- first in Oakland, then in Anaheim -- and an expectation from Ausmus that their talent will soon translate into consistent results.
"I think everybody in here feels we're a better team than what we did this homestand," said center fielder Anthony Gose, "and hopefully we can get on the road, and go to the West Coast, and hopefully string together a good streak of wins."