DETROIT -- Justin Verlander pitched five scoreless innings and the Houston Astros batted the Detroit Tigers for 25 hits en route to a 17-4 victory Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.
The Astros (74-58) took two of three from the Tigers (59-71) this weekend.
Verlander, who was roughed up a bit when he started in Detroit earlier this season as a member of the New York Mets, struck out seven and allowed just two hits in five innings of work. He did hit three batters, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalize on the gifts.
Despite the lopsided final score, the game was still well in reach until the seventh thinning.
Tigers starter Alex Faedo allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. He uncharacteristically walked four batters, but was able to wiggle out of serious jams, save for a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker in the third.
But the bullpen struggled mightily on Sunday.
Tyler Holton, perhaps the Tigers’ consistent reliever this season, saw his streak of consecutive scoreless innings snapped at 13 when he gave up four runs in the seventh.
Left-handed reliever Andrew Vasquez, who has struggled with control since the Tigers claimed him off waivers earlier this month, was tagged with six runs in the eighth.
Catcher Carson Kelly and infielder Zack Short handled the five final outs of the game, giving up four more runs along the way.
Nine Astros had a multi-hit game, including shortstop Jeremy Pena, who had five hits.
The 25 total hits tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game.
Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in what was likely his final meeting with Verlander. But he later broke the 14-0 shutout with a three-run homer in the eighth inning off Astros reliever Phil Maton, the brother of Tigers infielder Nick Maton (currently in Toledo). The homer traveled 391 feet to left-center.
It was Cabrera’s 510th career home run (and third this season).
That moved him past Gary Sheffield for 26th on the all-time list. He’s now one shy of Mel Ott (511).
Up next: The Tigers open a four-game series against the New York Yankees on Monday at 6:40 p.m. at Comerica Park. Rookie right-hander Reese Olson (2-5, 5.29 ERA) will face Yanks right-hander Luis Severino (3-8, 7.26.
Olson gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings in his last start on Aug. 22 against the Chicago Cubs.
Severino, who will be a free agent this winter, has had a poorly timed down year that will likely cost him millions of dollars.
He is coming off a strong start, giving up just one hit in 6 2/3 scoreless innings against Washington on Aug. 23.