HOUSTON (AP) Jose Altuve has always enjoyed coming through for the Houston Astros in the clutch.
Now that every win inches them closer to their first playoff berth in 10 years, the All-Star second baseman relishes those moments even more.
Altuve hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Astros, boosted by two homers from Colby Rasmus, beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 Sunday.
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”Every time you do something for your team and you win you’re going to feel good. You’re going to enjoy it,” Altuve said. ”Especially in the moment that we’re living right now where we’re in first place and we have to win.”
Miguel Cabrera homered, doubled and drove in three runs for Detroit.
Jake Marisnick tripled off Tom Gorzelanny (1-2) with two outs in the Houston ninth. Alex Wilson relieved and Altuve singled on the first pitch for his third hit of the game.
The AL West-leading Astros chased Altuve as he rounded second base and rookie Carlos Correa tackled him in jubilation. Correa was in the hole when Altuve went up to hit and said he put his bat on the rack because he knew Altuve would come through.
”He’s the right guy for the right spot and we have a lot of confidence when he steps to the plate when guys are in scoring position to give us a chance to win the game and he always delivers,” Correa said.
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.
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.
Cabrera, who returned Friday from a six-week stint on disabled list, hit his 16th home run.
Cabrera didn’t get a hit in his first game back on Friday, but has four hits in the two games since then to raise his average to .352.
”He looks good,” manager Brad Ausmus said. ”I think his timing’s still off every now and then but he certainly took some good swings the last two days.”
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 in the last couple of days 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 short, 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.