HOUSTON (AP) — Gerrit Cole struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings, Alex Bregman homered and the Houston Astros beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 Thursday night.
Cole (15-5) pitched two-hit ball and allowed one walk over 94 pitches. He’s 11-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his past 15 starts and has 238 strikeouts this season, one shy of teammate and league leader Justin Verlander.
Cole returned for his first start since Aug. 7 after dealing with right hamstring discomfort. He showed no signs of rust, retiring 16 of his final 17 batters.
After the Tigers stunned Houston in a 2-1 win Wednesday night despite Verlander’s complete-game two-hitter, the Astros gave Cole more than enough run support. Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a fourth-inning double, and Bregman followed with a lined shot to the first row of the left field Crawford Boxes for his 31st homer.
Brantley finished with three hits, including a two-run single in the seventh.
Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann (1-9) allowed three hits and two runs while striking out four in five innings.
Houston went up 3-0 in the sixth on Yordan Alvarez’s RBI-double. Yuli Gurriel also added an RBI single in the seventh to put the Astros up 6-0.
In the ninth, John Hicks hit a two-run homer — much less dramatic than his go-ahead solo shot off Verlander the night before — and Niko Goodrum added a solo homer off reliever Joe Biagini.
Representing the tying run, Dawel Lugo’s deep shot to right field was caught by Josh Reddick at the wall for the final out. Roberto Osuna earned his 30th save of the season.
The Tigers suffered their fifth loss in their last six games.
Tigers: OF Christin Stewart (concussion) was activated from the seven-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Toledo. … INF Jeimer Candelario (left thumb sprain) and C Grayson Greiner (lower back strain) continued rehab assignments with Triple-A Toledo, both starting Thursday with Candelario homering.
Astros: All-Star reliever Ryan Pressly was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Wednesday, for right knee arthroscopic surgery and is expected to be out 4 to 6 weeks, the Astros said. … SS Carlos Correa said he was optimistic after an MRI showed no structural damage to his back. Correa was placed on the IL on Wednesday after leaving Monday night’s game with back discomfort.
Tigers: RHP Drew VerHagen (3-2, 6.67 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season Friday in Detroit’s series opener at Minnesota.
Astros: RHP Zack Greinke (13-4, 2.84) will face the Angels in Friday’s series opener, looking to improve to 4-0 in his fourth start with Houston.