Verlander’s pitching, Upton’s slam lead Tigers past Astros

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DETROIT, MI - JULY 30: Justin Upton #8 of the Detroit Tigers is greeted in the dugout by Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers and hitting coach Lloyd McClendon #20 of the Detroit Tigers after scoring from first base on a double by Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Comerica Park on July 30, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings in what could be his last start with the Detroit Tigers, beating the Houston Astros 13-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Justin Upton matched a career best with six RBIs for the Tigers, who handed the Astros their first back-to-back losses since June 12-13.

Upton had four hits, including a seventh-inning grand slam, and scored twice.

In his last start before Monday’s trade deadline, Verlander (6-7) gave up five singles and three walks while striking out six.

The subject of trade rumors since last winter, Verlander received a long standing ovation from the crowd of 31,970 when he walked off the mound after the sixth inning.

Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3), whose dad pitched for the Tigers in 1990, allowed five runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.

Houston first baseman Tyler White pitched the eighth, allowing a two-run homer to James McCann in his second career pitching performance.

Verlander stranded eight batters in the first four innings, but needed 90 pitches to do it. McCullers was almost as good, only allowing one of eight runners to score and leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.

The Tigers broke through in the second on an RBI single by Jose Iglesias. Miguel Cabrera made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the fifth, and he later scored on McCann’s single.

Mikie Mahtook added an RBI double in the sixth, and Upton followed with a two-run double to put the Tigers up 6-0.

The Tigers added five runs off Tony Sipp in the seventh, including Upton’s sixth career grand slam.

Alex Bregman ended the shutout with a solo homer in the ninth. Houston’s streak of 60 games with a double came to an end.



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