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Tigers 7, Astros 3 (14 innings)

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Detroit Tigers rode an exceptional bullpen effort and an unlikely contribution from a reserve outfielder to a 7-3, 14-inning victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

The Tigers grabbed their first lead in the top of the 14th when Don Kelly, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth inning, bounced a bases-loaded, RBI single to right field, scoring Austin Jackson.

After Jackson stroked a leadoff double against Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (0-1) and advanced to third on a Torii Hunter groundout, Houston intentionally walked slugging infielders Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Kelly followed with his run-scoring hit to snap a 3-3 tie.

Matt Tuiasosopo added a two-run double off Jose Cisnero before Jhonny Peralta capped the four-run frame with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Kelly.

Right-hander Luke Putkonen (1-0) earned his first major league win after being recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier Thursday. He followed right-handers Jose Ortega and Joaquin Benoit and left-hander Darin Downs and capped seven scoreless innings from the Detroit bullpen.

Each team struck out 18 times.

Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game, delivered in his first big-league start of the season.

He retired seven of the first eight batters he faced before hitting a rough patch in the third inning, surrendering four consecutive hits to Omar Infante, Jackson, Hunter and Cabrera. Hunter and Cabrera delivered run-scoring singles, with Cabrera notching his 1,000th career hit in a Detroit uniform. That rally tied the score at 2.

Lyles was lifted after five solid innings, having allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He threw just 79 pitches, 54 for strikes.

Houston designated hitter Carlos Pena drilled the first pitch of his second at-bat into the Crawford Boxes in left field, giving the Astros a 3-2 lead. Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello had retired nine consecutive batters before that hiccup, with his previous batch of trouble coming in the first inning when catcher Jason Castro bashed a two-run, opposite-field home run to left that drove home Robbie Grossman, who had singled.

NOTES: In addition to calling up Lyles, the Astros promoted Keuchel from Oklahoma City. RHPs Brad Peacock and Rhiner Cruz were optioned to the Triple-A club. ... Putkonen replaced RHP Bruce Rondon, who was demoted after Wednesday's game. ... Houston's Jose Altuve set a club record for hits by a second baseman in the month of April with 35 hits. Craig Biggio held the old mark of 33, set in 1998. Altuve went 0-for-5 Thursday. ... The Astros' combined record for their minor league clubs through Wednesday, 61-40, ranked second to the Minnesota Twins (63-38) among all organizations.
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