HOUSTON (AP) — The Detroit Tigers considered pitching around Jose Altuve with a man on third and the game tied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday.
But with Preston Tucker, who has three homers in six games against Detroit, on the bench, manager Brad Ausmus decided to take his chances with Altuve. It cost the Tigers the game.
Altuve hit a game-winning RBI single and the Houston Astros, boosted by two homers from Colby Rasmus, beat the Tigers 6-5.
"You’ve got to pick your poison there," Ausmus said. "We were trying to pitch him carefully. We weren’t trying to give him anything to hit. Sometimes the location is missed and the guy gets a hit."
Miguel Cabrera homered, doubled and drove in three runs for Detroit. It was the 16th homer for Cabrera, who returned from a six-week stint on the disabled list Friday.
Jake Marisnick tripled off Tom Gorzelanny (1-2) with two outs in the Houston ninth. Alex Wilson relieved Gorzelanny and Altuve singled on the first pitch for his third hit of the game.
"I’ve had some pretty good success against him in the past," Wilson said. "I left a pitch up over the middle and he did what he’s supposed to do."
The AL West-leading Astros chased Altuve as he rounded second base and rookie Carlos Correa tackled him in jubilation.
Will Harris (5-2) allowed two hits and a run in two innings for the win.
The Tigers had tied it on an RBI single by Tyler Collins in the eighth.
Cabrera didn’t get a hit in his first game back Friday, but has four hits in the two games since then to raise his average to .352.
"He looks good," Ausmus said. "I think his timing’s still off every now and then but he certainly took some good swings the last two days."
Cabrera isn’t quite where he wants to be yet.
"It’s getting there," he said. "Try to get into baseball shape. Try to win some more games."
The Astros built a 5-2 lead on the homers by Rasmus. A two-run drive by Cabrera got the Tigers within a run in the seventh.
Rasmus hit a solo homer to begin a four-run second. Marwin Gonzalez had a two-run triple and Correa tacked on another run with a single.
Rasmus connected again in the third for his first multihomer game since 2012.
Mike Fiers allowed five hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings in his first home start for Houston since a trade from Milwaukee.
Detroit rookie Matt Boyd gave up five runs in five innings of his fifth career start.
CAN CORREA GET A CALL?
After being tackled by the 6-foot-4 Correa in the postgame celebration on Sunday, the 5-5 Altuve suggested he might be able to suit up for the Houston Texans.
"I think if the Texans see that, they going to put him out there," Altuve said.
Correa, the top overall pick in the 2012 draft, said he played a little football in Puerto Rico for fun but never took it seriously. But he’d be willing to listen if the Texans were interested in his services after seeing the takedown of his teammate.
"If the Texans offered me something, I would like to try out," Correa said with a laugh.
Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein allowed three hits and five runs — two earned — in his third rehabilitation start and the first at Triple-A Toledo on Saturday night. Lobstein has been out since May 24 with a sore left shoulder.
Astros: OF George Springer (broken right wrist) has been throwing and catching since being cleared for baseball activities on Friday. Manager A.J. Hinch said he could begin swinging a bat early next week, but the Astros still aren’t sure when he’ll come off the disabled list.
Tigers: Detroit is off on Monday before a two-game interleague series with the Cubs. Anibal Sanchez (10-10, 4.95) will oppose Chicago’s Jason Hammel (6-5, 3.10) in the opener at Wrigley Field.
Astros: Houston continues its 10-game homestand with a four-game series against Tampa Bay when Scott Kazmir (6-7, 2.12) faces Erasmo Ramirez (9-4, 3.59). It will be the second home start for Kazmir since a trade from Oakland. He is coming off a loss at San Francisco, but his ERA ranks second in the American League.