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Luis Garcia looks to keep Astros’ strong starts going vs. Tigers

Right-hander Jose Urquidy continued a stellar stretch by Houston starters, delivering six shutout innings on Thursday in the Astros’ 3-2 win over the visiting Detroit Tigers.

The teams continue their four-game series in Houston on Friday.

While the Astros won the opener in walk-off fashion on Thursday, Urquidy set the tone by posting Houston’s eighth start of at least six innings over the past 11 games.

Houston starters are 7-3 with a 2.05 ERA over the past 11 games.

The Astros will conclude a stretch of playing games on 17 consecutive games with the finale against the Tigers on Sunday. Houston manager Dusty Baker said his starting staff has been integral in getting through the challenging stretch without forcing him to overburden the bullpen.

“This is getting to the point where guys are getting in shape, getting to the point where guys are showing the ability to go 100 pitches, go close to seven innings,” Baker said. “Starting pitching is the key. Starting pitching sets the tone for everything, sets the tone for your offense where you don’t have to have nearly as much, sets the tone for your bullpen where you don’t have to go to the same guys every day.”

Right-hander Luis Garcia (1-1, 4.15 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Astros in the second game of the series. He recorded his first quality start of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts over six innings in the Astros’ 2-1 loss.

Garcia is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA over two career games (one start) against the Tigers. He worked six innings in a 12-3 road win over Detroit on June 24, 2021, and allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Rookie right-hander Beau Brieske (0-1, 3.60 ERA) has the starting assignment for Detroit on Friday. He made his major league debut on April 23, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts over five innings in a 3-2 home loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Brieske did not factor into the decision in his latest start, the Tigers’ 5-1 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. He allowed one run on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts over five innings.

Brieske was a 27th-round selection by Detroit in the 2019 draft.

Detroit entered the series ranked last in the American League in slugging, making the two-run, two-out, game-tying home run from Jeimer Candelario in the top of the ninth inning on Thursday one of the more timely extra-base hits the Tigers have enjoyed this season.

“We’ve been having a hard time getting the big hit,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “I thought our at-bats were better. We get the big hit, Candy comes up and ties the game with two outs. Their closer (Ryan Pressly) is in the game and so that’s obviously a great job by our guys hanging in there and fighting and doing their part to keep the game alive.

“Hopefully the energy at the top half of the ninth inning will carry over into (Friday).”

–Field Level Media

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