DETROIT— Dallas Keuchel won this matchup of old college roommates — then admitted he hadn’t paid much attention to his friend-turned-adversary on the mound.
Keuchel outpitched Drew Smyly, and the Houston Astros beat Detroit 6-2 on Thursday to snap the Tigers’ eight-game winning streak. Keuchel and Smyly both pitched for the Arkansas team that reached the College World Series in 2009, but on this day, Keuchel had more important concerns than watching his fellow left-hander throw.
“I honestly didn’t see a single pitch from him,” Keuchel said. “I was in the tunnel. It was kind of hot today for Detroit right now, and I was just trying to stay cool as much as possible.”
Keuchel (3-2) allowed two runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings, and Houston ended its five-game losing streak. The Astros broke through with three runs in the fifth off Smyly (2-2) to take the lead.
Houston’s George Springer, a first-round draft pick in 2011, hit his first major league homer. Carlos Corporan and Matt Dominguez also went deep for the Astros.
Victor Martinez homered for the Tigers.
Smyly allowed only one hit — an infield single — through the first four innings, but his outing took a turn for the worse in the fifth when Springer lined a one-out solo homer over the wall in right.
“It’s obviously good to hit something hard and to have a great result like that,” said Springer, who planned to give the home run ball to his father. “I didn’t try to do too much — was able to stay on it and hit it hard, and for me that’s a great sign.”
Jose Altuve put the Astros ahead 3-2 with a two-run double later that inning.
Smyly allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out two and walked three.
Corporan homered off reliever Evan Reed in the seventh to make it 4-2.
Keuchel struck out seven without a walk, navigating a tough Detroit lineup without too much difficulty.
“I won’t be talking to him for a while,” Smyly joked. “I thought he’d do OK, but he’s a lefty and with our offense, I thought we’d get to him. He’s a very smart pitcher and he’s a bulldog, and we couldn’t do anything with him. That’s as good as I’ve seen him, and you have to tip your hat.”
Keuchel’s final big test came in the seventh, when Detroit put men on first and third with two out. Keuchel struck out pinch-hitter Torii Hunter to end the inning.
The temperature at game time was 77 degrees, and Keuchel said his decision to ignore Smyly’s pitching was nothing personal.
“On the more humid days, I’ll try to go in and keep cool in between innings, so I don’t usually watch the other pitcher,” he said. “In this case, it was my college roommate, so I’m sure he’ll be mad I didn’t see a few pitches.”
Miguel Cabrera came to the plate in the eighth after Ian Kinsler’s single chased Keuchel, but the best the Detroit slugger could do against reliever Anthony Bass was a soft grounder to second.
Dominguez hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the second on an RBI double by Nick Castellanos. Springer, who came close to preventing a homer by Cabrera the previous night, nearly caught this drive too, but it caromed off the wall in right field.
Martinez hit his seventh homer of the year in the fourth. He finished the day with three hits, extending his hitting streak to 11.
INDIANS 9, TWINS 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera had four hits and three RBIs, and Michael Brantley also homered as Cleveland stretched a winning streak to three for the first time season.
Cabrera, who entered hitting .215, had a solo homer in the second and RBI doubles in the seventh and eighth. He also singled in the fifth.
Justin Masterson (2-1) allowed four runs — two earned — four hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings. Kevin Correia (1-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings for the Twins.
Minnesota played its fourth straight game without first baseman Joe Mauer, who could be headed to the disabled list because of back spasms. Outfielder Sam Fuld was placed on the seven-day DL with concussion-like symptoms, leaving infielder Pedro Florimon as Minnesota’s only bench player when the game began.
ORIOLES 3, RAYS 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Steve Pearce hit a two-run homer, Ubaldo Jimenez won his second straight start and Baltimore completed a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay.
Pearce’s second homer in three days came off David Price after J.J. Hardy’s double in the second inning.
Playing first base in place of injured slugger Chris Davis, Pearce also made an outstanding stretch to catch a throw from Hardy that completed an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Rays manager Joe Maddon challenged the call, but the ruling that Pearce had kept his foot on the bag was confirmed after a 2-minute review.
Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the third.
MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Hisashi Iwakuma scattered four hits over eight innings and Corey Hart hit an RBI single to lift the Mariners, who won for the 11th time in 14 games since losing eight straight from April 15-22.
Iwakuma (2-0) was making his second start after beginning the season on the disabled list with a strained tendon on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The All-Star right-hander struck out seven and walked none.
Fernando Rodney worked around two walks in the ninth to earn his 10th save in 11 chances.
Danny Duffy (1-3) gave up one run and two hits in six-plus innings. He has allowed two hits and a run in each of his first two starts this season after pitching out of the bullpen to begin the year.
BLUE JAYS 12, PHILLIES 6
TORONTO (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion hit two of Toronto’s five home runs and the Blue Jays won their eighth consecutive game against Philadelphia.
Juan Francisco, Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus also went deep to help Toronto extend its winning streak to a season-best five games. Encarnacion hit a leadoff shot in the second inning against A.J. Burnett and added a two-run drive off Luis Garcia in the seventh for his 12th career multihomer game.
Francisco followed Encarnacion’s second home run with a shot to center field, his second in two days, as the Blue Jays went back-to-back for the first time this season.
RANGERS 5, ROCKIES 0
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Prince Fielder homered, Matt Harrison earned his first win of the season and Texas beat Colorado after being overwhelmed by the Rockies the previous three games.
Harrison (1-0) and four relievers combined on a five-hitter, the Rangers’ major league-best seventh shutout. Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 28 games with a single in the third.
That broke the team record he matched Wednesday night.
Colorado came in as the only National League team without a shutout loss. The Rockies, whose 22 wins are tied for most in the majors, had 50 hits and outscored the Rangers 29-5 the previous three nights — the first two in Denver before the interleague matchup switched to Texas.
CUBS 12, WHITE SOX 5
CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Mike Olt homered, and the Cubs stopped a four-game slide.
Rizzo had three hits and scored three times as the Cubs salvaged the finale of the city series. Olt, Ryan Kalish, Nate Schierholtz and Junior Lake had two hits apiece in a game that took 4 hours, 7 minutes.
The Cubs put it away with five runs in the eighth, highlighted by Olt’s first career grand slam. Maikel Cleto also hit Welington Castillo with a pitch with the bases loaded, ending the White Sox bullpen’s shutout streak at 23 1-3 innings.