May 23, 2015
Astros 3, Tigers 2
W – McCullers (1-0)
L – Lobstein (3-5)
S – Gregerson (11)
Is Lance McCullers here to stay? That’s starting to look like a distinct possibility at this point. After two straight games of letting the Tigers score six runs, McCullers held one of the best hitting teams in baseball to two runs over six innings and fanned six.
Oddly enough, the defensive highlights and lowlights came in the same inning – the bottom of the 5th. With a runner at second, no outs, and the score tied at 1-1, Jose Iglesias hit a sharp grounder to Chris Carter. What should have been an easy out turned into an infield single due to McCullers forgetting to cover first base. Then, with runners at the corners, Anthony Gose hit a grounder to Jose Altuve, who tried to start the double play but his throw missed Marwin Gonzalez at 2nd.
Now down 2-1 and still in a two-on, no-out jam, McCullers managed to weasel his way out of the jam and gain a small amount of baseball immortality at the same time. Ian Kinsler hit a hard grounder to Jonathan Villar at third, who started an around-the-horn 5-4-3 triple play that beat Kinsler at first by a couple of eyelashes. It was the Astros’ first triple play since 2004.
Carter, Gonzalez, and Villar all had multi-hit games. Preston Tucker continues to rake, starting a 2-out rally in the top of the 6th with the first of four consecutive Astro hits. This rally scored two runs and put McCullers in position for his first big league win. A combination of Harris, Thatcher, Neshek, and Gregerson locked down the late innings with no baserunners and 4 Ks.
Win tomorrow and the Astros can get out of Detroit with a series tie. Roberto Hernandez (2-3, 3.99) faces off against Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 5.60) at 12:08pm CDT.