Mark Canha hits grand slam, Kerry Carpenter homers twice in Tigers' 8-2 victory over Astros

DETROIT (AP) — Mark Canha hit a grand slam in a seven-run second inning, Kerry Carpenter homered twice and the Detroit Tigers beat the Houston Astros 8-2 on Saturday night.

“That's just what we're capable of,” said first baseman Spencer Torkelson, who had a single to extend his hitting streak to six games.

Tarik Skubal (5-0) gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings.

Cristian Javier (2-1) allowed seven runs on five hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings.

“He didn't have his best command and we took full advantage of that,” Torkelson said.

Javier made his first start since going on the injured list because of neck discomfort nearly a month ago.

“I was really anxious going out there and competing,” he said. “It had been a while since I’ve gone out there and pitched.”

The Tigers loaded the bases against Javier in the pivotal second and then he threw four straight balls to Riley Greene, forcing home the first run. Two pitches later, Canha sat on a changeup and sent it 393 feet over the left-field fence.

“The at-bats before his have to be good to have that moment,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said.

Carpenter's two-run homer put Detroit ahead 7-0 and ended Javier's brief and rough outing.

“I went a very long time without being able to pitch, not able to compete,” Javier said. “That’s why I was struggling.”

After Houston was held scoreless for a third straight inning, hitting coach Alex Cintron was ejected after appearing to argue with the umpiring crew.

Alex Bregman and Yainer Diaz responded in the fourth inning, hitting RBI singles to make it 7-2. Carpenter hit a homer off Hunter Brown in the home half, putting Detroit ahead by six runs.

The Tigers provided plenty of offense for Skubal, who threw a 100-mph pitch for the first time in his career during a season-high, 97-pitch outing.

“I saw 99.9 (mph) on the board so I haven’t given him credit yet,” Hinch joked.

Skubal saw the same speed on the scoreboard.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” he said.

Detroit, which had lost six of seven games, avoided having a losing record for the first time this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Chas McCormick (right hamstring) is expected to begin a rehab assignment for Triple-A Sugar Land on Sunday.

Tigers: RHP Kenta Maeda was placed on the 15-day IL with a viral illness and RHP Matt Manning will likely replace him in the rotation.

“He wants to pitch, but it’s impossible when you break your routine and you’re as sick as he has been,” Hinch said.

MAKING MOVES

Houston designated RHP Brandon Bielak for assignment and Detroit recalled OF Akil Baddoo from Triple-A Toledo.

UP NEXT

Astros RHP Justin Verlander (1-1, 4.43 ERA) is scheduled to make his sixth start against Detroit, where he won the AL and Cy Young awards in 2011 during his 13-season stint with the franchise. Verlander gave up seven earned runs — his highest total since 2017 when he pitched for the Tigers — in a loss last week against the New York Yankees.

RHP Jack Flaherty (0-2, 3.86) is 0-5 with a 5.98 ERA in 12 starts since beating Toronto on Aug. 3, 2023, while pitching for Baltimore.

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