DETROIT (AP) — After two sacrifice flies earlier in the game, Josh Reddick came up in the eighth inning with men on first and second and the Astros down by two.
“I told him, ‘Go get another RBI,'” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “He said, ‘How about three?'”
Reddick hit a three-run homer, lifting Houston to a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. His five-RBI performance helped the Astros win despite getting only three innings from starter Dallas Keuchel in the left-hander’s return from a neck injury.
The Astros trailed 5-3 when Detroit brought in reliever Bruce Rondon (1-2) to start the eighth. He allowed singles to Derek Fisher and Jose Altuve before Reddick’s drive sailed well beyond the wall in right field.
“Didn’t really have the option of a sac fly again,” Reddick said. “Fortunately, it got out.”
Brad Peacock (9-1) allowed two runs in four innings of relief for Houston, then Chris Devenski pitched the eighth and Ken Giles finished for his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Marwin Gonzalez also homered for the AL West-leading Astros, who were without injured slugger George Springer. Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera went deep for Detroit.
Keuchel, who hadn’t pitched since June 2, allowed three runs and six hits, walking three and striking out three. Hinch indicated before the game that he would be on a pitch count, and he was pulled after throwing 79.
“We were hoping to be in the 75-80 range over five innings. It happened over three,” Hinch said. “It’s great to see him on the field, and we feel good when he’s on the mound. He wasn’t as sharp as he’s going to be.”
Keuchel is 9-0 this year and has won his last 11 decisions, a streak that only stayed alive because of Houston’s late rally. He allowed a three-run homer to Castellanos in the second that put the Tigers ahead 3-1.
“As much as it stings to give up a three-run homer, it felt good to get back out there,” Keuchel said.
Cabrera’s home run made it 4-2 in the fifth, but Gonzalez answered the following inning with a solo shot.
Mikie Mahtook gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead in the seventh when he hustled all the way around from first and scored on Victor Martinez’s single to right.
Reddick hit sacrifice flies in the first and third innings.
Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings for the Tigers, but Detroit squandered the lead immediately after his departure.
Rondon was ejected from the Detroit’s previous game, a 16-2 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday night, for hitting Mike Moustakas with a pitch. He retired only one batter Friday — and by then he had already given up the lead.
“When Bruce is into the outing, he’s a lot more effective,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “On Wednesday, he was just mopping up, but this was a close game, so I thought he would be focused and get a chance to redeem himself.”
Altuve had three hits, extending his hitting streak to 19 games and raising his American League-leading average to .369. He finished a home run short of the cycle and is batting .506 (44 for 87) in July.
“I thought I threw good pitches to him in the first two at-bats and he got a triple and a double,” Zimmermann said. “The third time, I threw a fastball down the middle and got him out. That’s just how it works.”
Astros: Springer, Houston’s leader with 27 home runs, went on the disabled list before the game. He’s been dealing with left quadriceps discomfort.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (0-0) starts Saturday at Detroit. McHugh returned last weekend for his first start of 2017 after being out with shoulder problems.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (4-5) takes the mound. It will be his first start since the birth of his daughter Meira Joy Boyd on Thursday.