MLB Game Preview - Astros v Tigers

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 351
Detroit0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 271
  W: J. Verlander (15-9)   L: F. Liriano (4-10)   S: R. Osuna (16)
3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, September 10, 2018
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 19,711

Astros' Verlander to experience homecoming at Tigers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers

  1. Houston's seven-game winning streak was snapped as the Red Sox defeated the Astros, 6-5 on a Mitch Moreland walkoff hit. It was Houston's seventh walkoff loss of the season, compared to four last year.
  2. The Tigers dropped the series finale against the Cardinals, snapping a four-game winning streak. However, they managed to win consecutive series for the first time since June 12-17.
  3. Dating back to July 9, Francisco Liriano has made nine straight starts in which he has failed to record a quality start, the longest streak of his career. Liriano has averaged 5.06 walks per nine innings this season, highest among AL pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings.
  4. Justin Verlander will return to Comerica Park for the first time since being dealt to the Astros last season. He has made 187 regular season starts at Comerica in his career; only Felix Hernandez (204 -- Safeco Field) and Mark Buehrle (192 -- Guaranteed Rate Field) have made more starts at any park this century.
  5. Alex Bregman has reached base safely in 36 consecutive games, the longest-active streak in baseball. Over those 36 games, Bregman has a .453 on-base percentage along with 24 extra-base hits and 27 runs.
  6. Since 2016, the Tigers are 5-1 against the Astros at home. In those six games, Detroit outscored Houston 51-18, while slashing .316/.383/.534 and posting a 2.50 ERA as a team.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/10/2018 thru 9/12/2018
(AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander can expect a warm welcome Monday night when he pitches against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, for the second time in his career and first time in Comerica Park.

Verlander (14-9, 2.73 ERA) remains a popular figure in Detroit even after the Tigers dealt him away at the waiver trade deadline last year. It was a trade he agreed to only at the last minute as his desire to pitch for a championship team overcame his reluctance to leave the franchise where he made his bones as a major league pitcher.

"I am sure he had this series marked on his calendar for a while," Detroit catcher James McCann told reporters. "Regardless of what we did to him last time. You know he's going to want to come out and pitch well, coming back to Comerica.

He has faced his ex-team just once so far and it didn't go so well for him.

Detroit visited Houston earlier this year and pounded the ace of the World Series champions for four home runs among six hits good for six runs (one unearned) on July 15. Verlander took the loss but struck out 12 in six innings and didn't walk a batter.

Since his first appearance against Detroit, Verlander is 5-4 with a 3.93 ERA in his last nine starts.

The Astros head to Detroit after losing 6-5 at Boston on Sunday night on a walk-off single by Red Sox pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland. Houston is 89-54 and 2 1/2 games ahead of Oakland in the AL West while Detroit (59-84) is riding out the rest of the season, though it is 6-3 in its last nine games.

"It will be a completely different animal the first time I go back to Comerica," Verlander said in July.

He will be opposed by left-hander Francisco Liriano, who at this time a year ago was pitching for the Astros.

Liriano (4-9, 4.90) faced Houston in the other series against the Astros but did not figure in the decision during a start in which worked three innings, giving up a run on one hit with three walks and three strikeouts.

Liriano picked up his first win since April 28 on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox when he allowed three runs, on seven hits in 5.0 innings.

For his career, Liriano is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA over four starts against the Astros.

Rookie left fielder Christin Stewart can expect to get his first major league at-bat against Verlander after being called up to Detroit on Sunday when his team (Toledo) was eliminated by Durham from the International League playoffs. He hit .264 with 23 home runs and 77 RBI for the Mud Hens.

"That's one of the things we've been waiting for," said manager Ron Gardenhire of the Tigers. "He's going to play a lot this month. He's going to get a lot of swings. He's part of the future.

"I want him playing (left field). I don't want him DHing."

Also called up from Toledo by Detroit were veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who will give the Tigers a third catcher, plus right-handed reliever Zac Reininger.

Another pitcher or two will be called up by Detroit soon but Gardenhire declined to identify them because they haven't been told yet. He said another infielder might be brought up if shortstop Jose Iglesias is unable to return from an abdominal strain.

At least one of the pitchers is joining the rotation, the manager said, and Detroit will be going to a six-man rotation at that point.

"I'll tell those guys to keep doing what you've been doing," Gardenhire said. "There's a reason you've been called up here."

Updated September 10, 2018

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