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Astros lose 11-4 to Tigers for 4th straight loss

Wednesday - 5/7/2014, 12:04am  ET

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits a solo-home run off Houston Astros pitcher Brett Oberholtzer in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer

DETROIT (AP) -- Houston Astros manager Bo Porter has done his best to stay upbeat and positive about his young team this season.

When Houston's bullpen turned a relatively close game into a lopsided loss, even Porter acknowledged he was troubled by it.

Miguel Cabrera homered for his first of four hits and four RBIs, Robbie Ray gave up one run in his debut and the Detroit Tigers routed the Astros 11-4 Tuesday night for their season-high seventh straight win.

Houston, which has the worst record in the majors, lost its fourth in a row and sixth in seven games.

"It's a little tough, you know," right-hander Josh Fields said after giving up five runs and getting only two outs. "We're struggling. But it'll be all right."

Brett Oberholtzer (0-6) allowed four runs on nine hits, two sacrifice flies and a walk over six innings.

"I thought he did a good job of battling and did a good job of leaving us in a good position when he left the game," Porter said.

The Astros' bullpen ended any shot of at least staying competitive in the game by giving up seven runs.

"Extremely troubled," Porter said. "If our bullpen would have been able to keep it there, it would have been a different ballgame."

Cabrera cleared the fences for the third time this year in the first inning with a solo homer. The Tigers scored two runs in the third inning and another in the fourth.

That was plenty of support for the 22-year-old Ray, who was acquired in the offseason trade that sent Doug Fister to Washington.

Ray (1-0) gave up one run, five hits, a walk and struck out five in 5 1-3 innings in his first game in the majors.

Ray responded well when Jose Altuve led off the game with a bloop down the right field line, which he turned into a double, and Dexter Fowler followed with an infield single after the left-hander appeared to run past first base when Cabrera tossed him the ball. Showing the poise manager Brad Ausmus predicted he would have, Ray struck out the third and fourth batters in Houston's lineup and an inning-inning groundout got him out of the jam.

"That was a big inning," Porter said. "You have a guy who's making his first major league start on the ropes with the middle of the order coming up.

"But to his credit, he was able to get out of it."

The former Nationals prospect had a shot to have a scoreless start, but second baseman Ian Kinsler dropped a popup that allowed Fowler to score in the sixth inning. That ended Ray's anticipated debut in Detroit, where fans were generally unhappy that Fister was traded primarily for a prospect in the offseason.

Ray was given a standing ovation as he walked toward the dugout for the final time.

Cabrera, who matched a season high with four hits, had an RBI single in the seventh inning and a two-run double in the eighth.

J.D. Martinez was the only player in the Tigers' lineup who did not have a hit until his RBI single in the five-run eighth. He was cut by the Astros in March after playing for them the previous three years and was signed two days later by Detroit. Martinez played in his eighth game this year, giving Rajai Davis the day off.

Houston scored three in the ninth inning off Justin Miller.

NOTES: Porter said RHP Scott Feldman, who has been on the DL since mid-April with right biceps tendinitis, will start Friday at Baltimore. Porter said a decision will be made Wednesday or Thursday about who will be taken out of the rotation. ... Houston's George Springer had three hits, including an RBI double, to extend his hitting streak to a career-high six games.


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