Tigers Roar Past Astros 8-2, Powered by Canha and Carpenter


The Detroit Tigers bounced back with an emphatic 8-2 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. A powerful offensive performance and a stellar outing from Cy Young candidate Tarik Skubal propelled the Tigers to victory, evening the series against Houston. The win improves the Tigers’ record to 20-19, while the Astros fall to 14-25.

Skubal Dominates Early, Tigers’ Bats Explode

Tarik Skubal set the tone early, retiring the Astros in order in the top of the first inning. Jose Altuve nearly led off with a hit, but Riley Greene made a fantastic running catch near the left-field line. Skubal then set down Jeremy Pena and Yordan Alvarez, needing just nine pitches.

The Tigers’ offense got off to a slow start against Astros’ starter Cristian Javier. Riley Greene flied out to lead off the bottom of the first, but Mark Canha and Wenceel Perez drew back-to-back walks. Despite the baserunners, Javier escaped the inning unscathed by inducing lineouts from Kerry Carpenter and Matt Vierling.

In the second inning, Skubal continued his efficient performance, striking out Jon Singleton and inducing easy outs form Alex Bregman and Yainer Diaz. With his pitch count at 26 through two innings, Skubal looked sharp and in control.

Offensive Explosion in the Second Inning

The Tigers’ offense broke through in the bottom of the second, igniting the crowd and putting the game out of reach early. Rookie Colt Keith started the rally with a hard single past the Astros’ first baseman. He then stole second, showcasing his speed against Javier, who struggled with his mechanics from the stretch.

Spencer Torkelson grounded out, but that would be the last out for a while. Zach McKinstry drew a walk, putting runners on first and second. Jake Rogers then singled to left, loading the bases for Riley Greene, who walked to bring in the first run.

Mark Canha then delivered the big blow, crushing a 1-1 changeup over the left-center field fence for a grand slam, his sixth home run of the season.

The Tigers weren’t done yet.

Wenceel Perez doubled, and Kerry Carpenter followed with a two-run homer. The blast was hit with a 102.6 mph exit velocity and traveling 384 feet over the left-field wall. This extended the Tigers’ lead to 7-0 with only one out in the inning.

Cristian Javier was pulled from the game, replaced by Tayler Scott, who finally ended the inning by striking out Matt Vierling and getting Colt Keith to fly out. The damage was done, and the Tigers held a commanding lead.

Skubal’s Continued Dominance

With a seven-run cushion, Skubal returned to the mound with confidence. He gave up a leadoff double to Jake Meyers in the third but struck out Mauricio Dubon and Joey Loperfido. He then got Altuve to fly out, escaping the inning unscathed.

In the fourth, the Astros managed to score two runs off Skubal. Pena doubled, and Bregman’s single scored Pena. Skubal then walked Singleton and gave up a single to Diaz, bringing the score to 7-2. However, Skubal settled down, getting Meyers to line out and Dubon to ground out, escaping further trouble.

Kerry Carpenter added to the Tigers’ lead in the bottom of the fourth with his second homer of the day, an opposite-field shot that made it 8-2. This marked Carpenter’s fifth home run of the season and re-ignited the crowd.

Bullpen Shuts Down Astros

Skubal continued to dominate in the fifth, striking out Loperfido and Altuve. He allowed hits to Pena and Alvarez but struck out Bregman with a 99 mph fastball to end the threat.

In the seventh, Skubal started the inning but walked Dubon and allowed a single to Loperfido. AJ Hinch brought in relief pitcher Shelby Miller, who loaded the bases by hitting Pena. Miller induced a ground ball from Alvarez that initially was ruled safe at first, but after a challenge, the call was overturned, ending the inning without further damage.

Tyler Holton pitched the eighth and ninth innings, effectively shutting down the Astros. He allowed a single to Diaz, but struck out Meyers to end the eighth. In the ninth, Holton retired the Astros in order on just eleven pitches, sealing the win for Detroit.

Key Performances and What’s Next

Tarik Skubal improved to 5-0 with his 6.1 innings of two-run ball, striking out seven. Mark Canha’s grand slam and Kerry Carpenter’s two homers powered the offense. Colt Keith and Jake Rogers each contributed two hits.

Today’s Top Tigers:

  • Tarik Skubal: 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 2 BB, 97 pitches, 69 strikes
  • Mark Canha: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR (grand slam), 4 RBI, 2 BB
  • Kerry Carpenter: 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Colt Keith: 2-4, 1 R
  • Jake Rogers: 2-4, 1 R

The Tigers will look to take the series in the final game on Sunday, celebrating Mother’s Day with a matchup between Jack Flaherty and former Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Flaherty, pitching in his first season with Detroit, will face Verlander, a beloved figure in Tigers history now pitching for the Astros. The game is set for 1:40 pm EST.


For more from our Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21

Contact: Broder@woodwardsports.com

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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK