DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 13: Hunter Brown #58 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the second inning at Comerica Park on September 13, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
In his hometown of Detroit, Hunter Brown followed up his electric major-league debut with another quality start, going six innings of two-run baseball. Houston’s lineup backed him up with another strong night at the plate, leading to the 6-3 victory.
Houston improves to 92-50 on the season, lowering their magic number to nine to clinch the division, with a playoff berth imminent in the next few days.
Teams trade runs early
Just as in the opener on Monday night, the Astros set the tone early in Tuesday’s middle game by taking the lead in the top of the first. It came on a two-out homer by Yordan Alvarez, his 33rd of the season, to give Houston’s starting pitcher an immediate 1-0 lead to work with in the bottom of the first.
After issuing just one walk in his first major league start in his previous appearance, Brown started things off in his hometown with one on Tuesday night but quickly pivoted from it with a timely double play and a strikeout to get through a 12-pitch frame.
Detroit tied things up 1-1 in the bottom of the second, getting to Brown with a walk and RBI double to even the score. Houston went back in front in the top of the third, getting a three-run inning on an RBI single by Alex Bregman, who came in to score on a two-run blast by Kyle Tucker, making it 4-1.
Brown posts another quality start as Houston secures the series win
Detroit cut the lead to two against Brown in the bottom of the inning, getting a leadoff triple by Akil Baddoo to set up an RBI single by Riley Green, making it a 4-2 game. Brown settled in after that, continuing to get ahead of batters in counts and getting quick innings in the fourth and fifth.
After Houston left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Brown sat down the Tigers 1-2-3 for the second straight inning, where his night would end. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 82 P. Yuli Gurriel helped pad the lead in the top of the seventh, getting his first homer of the second half of the season, a two-run blast to make it 6-2.
With Brown’s night done, first out of Houston’s bullpen was Hector Neris, who took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh. He allowed a one-out solo homer to Kody Clemens but retired the next two batters to send things to the eighth. Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly wrapped things up in the eighth and ninth.
News and notes
Wednesday matinee: The finale of this series will get underway at 12:10 PM on Wednesday, with Cristian Javier (8-9, 3.01 ERA) on the mound for Houston going opposite Joey Wentz (1-1, 4.05 ERA) for Detroit.
In case you missed it: In Monday’s series opener in Detroit, Framber Valdez notched his 24th-straight quality start, tying a single-season record he could break in his next start.
Nearing 100 RBI: Already reaching a single-season best 93 before Tuesday’s game, Tucker added two more to bring his total to 95 as he marches towards a 100-RBI season.