Daniel Norris finishes strong as Tigers snap slump vs. Astros

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Daniel Norris delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON — Daniel Norris got stronger as game went on, and the evidence showed in the box score and the radar gun.

The left-handed starter retired the final 10 batters he faced, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.

The Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak, won their first game against the Astros and made at least modest progress in breaking through an offensive slump.

But the real story was Norris, whose harnessed his control after a shaky start as his fastball climbed back into its normal mid-90s mph range.

He allowed just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings, striking out five. He walked two; the latter free pass led to his only earned run.

Reliever Shane Greene finished the seventh and pitched a clean eighth to get the win.

The Tigers broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth when Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler led off the inning with hits and came home to score.

The Tigers added a couple of insurance runs in the ninth when Tyler Collins broke an 0-for-18 slump with a triple to right and Iglesias homered to left.

NOTABLE

* A rare catcher’s interference by the Tigers’ Alex Avila led to the Astros’ first run in the third inning.

On a 2-2 pitch, George Springer’s swing smacked his hand. It appeared painful, but Avila stayed in the game. Springer got first base and eventually scored an unearned run.

* Norris completed the sixth inning in 97 pitches, the first time he’s been under 100 at the six-inning mark.

* When the Tigers scored two in the third, they took their first lead since Saturday, a span of 29 innings.

* Astros reliever Jordan Jankowski made his Major League debut in the ninth inning. The 28-year-old had spent parts of six seasons in the minor leagues since being drafted by the Astros in 2012. He struck out his first two batters, Mikie Mahtook and Andrew Romine, before allowing the triple to Collins and then the two-run homer by Iglesias.

 

By Evan Woodbery | ewoodbery@mlive.com

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