Houston-Detroit: Astros Walk to a Victory Over the Tigers

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IJune 27, 2009

The Houston Astros overcome an early four-run deficit defeating the Detroit Tigers 5-4 with Adam Everett and Ivan Rodriguez facing their former teams.

Everett returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since 2007 when he was a Houston Astro. Everett played for the Astros from 2001-2007 and played for the Minnesota Twins in 2008.

Rodriguez played for the Tigers from 2004-2008 and finished 2008 with the New York Yankees.

The Astros (34-37) won their second straight game and 12 of their last 18 games. With the win, Houston moves to four games behind the NL Central leading Brewers.

The Tigers (41-32) snapped a seven-game win streak and a three-game win streak against the Astros.

Chris Sampson (4-0, 2.09 ERA) was the winning pitcher, getting the last out in the eighth. 

LaTroy Hawkins earned his 10th save in 13 opportunities getting Ryan Raburn to ground out to short with Josh Anderson at second to end the game. 

Wandy Rodriguez (6-6, 3.35 ERA) started for Houston and after having a rough first two innings, pitched six innings. Wandy Rodriguez allowed seven hits, four runs, walked four and struck out three.

The Astros bullpen only allowed two hits during the last three innings.

Joel Zumaya (3-2, 4.32 ERA) got the loss allowing two runs in two thirds of an inning,  one hit, and walked three earning his fourth blown save.

Justin Verlander started for the Tigers, pitching five and one-third innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out six.

Detroit took an early lead with a pair of two out rallies. After Rodriguez got the first two batters out, Cabrera hit a home run to left, to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. 

Detroit struck again in the second. Everett doubled to left after Laird popped out to short. Rodriguez struck out Verlander but walked Granderson. Polanco made him pay with a home run to left-center expanding the Tigers lead to 4-0.

The Astros rallied in the third. Michael Bourn led off with a single but was erased when Jeff Keppinger grounded into a fielder’s choice. Miguel Tejada drove in Keppinger with an RBI double to the left field corner. Carlos Lee struck out looking, but Lance Berkman walked. Hunter Pence cut the Tigers lead in half with single.

Ivan Rodriguez tattooed his former team with a double to led off the sixth. Kazuo Matsui moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Matt Kata who pinched hit for Wandy Rodriguez, drove in Ivan with a single to right cutting the Tigers lead to 4-3.

After Ivan Rodriguez led off the eighth with a line out to right, Matsui singled to left. Darin Erstad pinched hit for Sampson and walked. Bourn followed with a walk leading to Keppinger tying the game in the eighth, walking on a full count with the bases loaded. Tejada put the Astros in front with a sacrifice fly to left scoring Erstad.

Houston had two other key opportunities to score runs. The Astros had a runner on third with one out in the first inning. But Lee popped out to second. After Berkman walked, Pence struck out swinging.

The Astros had a chance to tie the game in the sixth. But Keppinger grounded into an inning double play with runners on first and second.

The Tigers had a key chance to expand their lead in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out. Magglio Ordonez grounded into a double play.

The Astros and Tigers resume their series Saturday. Felipe Paulino (1-4, 6.18 ERA) makes his first start since going on the disabled list June 11 with a strained groin. Alfredo Figaro (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will start for Detroit.