DETROIT – J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer and Alfredo Simon pitched seven strong innings as the Detroit Tigers beat the Houston Astros 6-2 Friday night.
Simon (5-2) gave up two unearned runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings. Simon, who struck out five, used his slow curve effectively, throwing it so softly once that it didn’t register on the radar gun.
Joba Chamberlain pitched a perfect eighth with a one-run lead, and Tom Gorzelanny finished after Detroit scored three times in the bottom of the inning.
Collin McHugh (5-2) lost for just the second time in his past 14 decisions, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk in seven innings. McHugh’s two losses have been in his past three starts after he had gone unbeaten in 16 outings dating back to last August.
A rare lapse by Detroit’s infield defense gave the Astros two runs in the top of the third. With two out, Ian Kinsler misplayed a routine grounder, allowing Jason Castro to score, and George Springer followed with a 420-foot RBI double over center fielder Anthony Gose’s head.
The Tigers, though, came back with three in their half of the inning. After Jose Iglesias and Gose singled to start the inning, McHugh retired Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera. Martinez, released by the Astros last year, hit McHugh’s next pitch 350 feet foul down the left-field line, then hit an 0-1 fastball into the right-field stands for a three-run homer.
Detroit made the game safe with three runs in the eighth. Cabrera singled, took third on Luis Valbuena’s error and scored on Rajai Davis’s two-out infield single. Davis then stole second before McCann’s two-run single.