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Tigers stage 3-run 7th to rally past Astros

July 29, 2017

DETROIT -- Jose Iglesias' RBI double and Ian Kinsler's go-ahead single led a seventh-inning rally that helped the Tigers hand the Astros a rare road loss in a 5-3 victory Saturday at Comerica Park.Houston took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh thanks to six strong innings from

DETROIT -- Jose Iglesias' RBI double and Ian Kinsler's go-ahead single led a seventh-inning rally that helped the Tigers hand the Astros a rare road loss in a 5-3 victory Saturday at Comerica Park.
Houston took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh thanks to six strong innings from Collin McHugh, but a Francis Martes pitch off Nicholas Castellanos' left hand and a Victor Martinez single ignited the Tigers' comeback with nobody out. Martes (3-1) struck out Alex Avila and Michael Mahtook, but a wild pitch scored Castellanos and moved Martinez into scoring position.

"The leadoff hit by pitch is probably the toughest one," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Because he goes from an opportunity to get a leadoff out to a mess on first base."

Iglesias' second two-out RBI double of the game tied it before Kinsler sent a line drive into shallow center field to bring Iglesias home.
"I just try to put the ball in play, don't try to do too much in a situation like that," Iglesias said.

Martinez added an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth off Luke Gregerson. The rally rewarded Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (5-5) for 7 1/3 solid innings in his third quality start since coming back from Triple-A Toledo after the All-Star break, and his first game since his wife gave birth to their first child Thursday morning.

"His breaking ball was pretty good, his changeup got better as the game went on," Hinch said of Boyd. "And really, after the fourth, we didn't really solve him."
Justin Wilson worked around Evan Gattis' third hit of the game, a leadoff single, to record his 13th save.

The loss dropped the Astros to 55-7 when leading after six innings. They're 38-14 on the road this season. The Tigers won for just the second time this season after trailing through six innings.
"We played well tonight," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, whose team ended a four-game losing streak. "We haven't played well recently, or we haven't won recently, but we played well tonight, and we have a chance to win the series."
Gattis goes deep: Boyd had recovered from Josh Reddick's leadoff infield single to retire Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel quickly, but he missed his spot on a key fastball after Gattis stepped into the batter's box. After falling behind with changeups, Boyd went after Gattis with fastballs. Gattis hit the third of them 412 feet to left field, a no-doubt homer with a 110-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™.
"He pitched well that inning but for that one pitch, just left it right over the middle," catcher Avila said of Boyd.
Kinsler's clutch catch: One night after Ausmus went to Bruce Rondon with an eighth-inning lead after his starter tossed seven quality innings with just 80 pitches, only to watch the Astros rally, Boyd stayed in to begin the eighth and face Reddick, whose three-run homer had pulled Houston in front on Friday. This time, Kinsler ran down a Reddick foul ball all the way to the right-field seats, leaning into the stands to make the grab and prevent a rally.
"A lot of it was the ball," Kinsler said. "The ball was getting pushed back a lot tonight for some reason. Running after it, it looked like it was going to be deep, but it kept coming back. It looked like it was going to be five rows deep, but it kept blowing back."

"I don't get impressed by a lot of plays. That was one." -- Iglesias, on Kinsler's catch
"We hadn't really talked about it before the game, but I think we got to that point, and me and A.J. had a conversation in the dugout, and I knew if I was gonna be allowed to go back out, it was gonna be a really short leash. I think they just decided that it was the best bet to go ahead and get somebody else in there and see what they could do that third time through the lineup." -- McHugh, on what went into the decision to remove him from the game after 82 pitches through six innings

Rotation reassembled: McHugh impresses
• Altuve, who entered the day batting .506 for the month and with a 1.025 OPS for the season off lefties, went hitless for the first time since July 1 and 0-for-4 for the first time since June 19.
• Saturday was just the third time this season the Tigers won without hitting a home run. They're now 3-28 in homerless games.
What was initially called a groundout against the infield shift on the first play of the game became a leadoff infield single for Reddick after a 1-minute, 39-second replay review showed his foot hit the bag ahead of Castellanos' throw from second base. The overturn became big three batters later with Gattis' two-out homer.

Cut4: Fan retrieves foul ball on dugout
Astros: Houston will wrap up its three-city road trip by sending Lance McCullers (7-2, 3.67) to the mound for Sunday's 12:10 p.m. CT start. McCullers has won both career starts against the Tigers and has held the current Detroit lineup to a combined .192 batting average.
Tigers: Unless a trade is close, Justin Verlander (5-7, 4.50) will start Sunday's 1:10 p.m. ET series finale. He gave up a three-homer inning in Houston on May 25, but left with a no-decision.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for and covered the Astros on Saturday.