HOUSTON (AP) — Anibal Sanchez gave up two home runs in his first two starts. He gave up a pair in the first three innings Sunday.
Jose Altuve led off Houston's first inning with a solo home run and had three RBIs, and George Springer also hit a solo homer to help the Astros defeat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 Sunday for their first series win this season.
Springer singled in the first and scored on Sanchez's wild pitch, and Springer hit his second home run in as many days leading off the third. Altuve made it 5-0 with a two-run single in the fourth.
Sanchez (2-1) allowed five runs — four earned — and eight hits in five innings with eight strikeouts.
"I felt really good," Sanchez said. "I need to keep it down more, focus and throw more strikes. and that's going to help me get deeper in the game."
Sanchez had allowed four runs over his first two outings.
"Overall the pitches are good," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "A couple of home runs today that hurt. but overall he looks good. He's controlling the running game. His stuff looks good. He's got good finish through the zone."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia and J.D. Martinez hit solo homers for Detriot.
Ian Kinsler had a two-run homer and the second baseman made a heads-up play in the fifth when he let a Tyler White pop up in the infield fall in front of him in order to throw out Colby Rasmus out at second.
"It's just an exchange of runners, that's all it is," Kinsler said. "You have an opportunity to get a faster guy off the base. Less worrisome for Anibal as far as scoring from first on a double, you might have a chance at him at home. Just want to exchange the speed."
Mike Fiers (1-1) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts. Fiers had allowed eight runs and three home runs over 11 innings during his first two starts.
Ken Giles escaped first-and-third trouble in the eighth when
Saltalamacchia hit an inning-ending groundout. Luke Gregerson got three straight outs in the ninth for his fourth save in four chances.
"We did a good job of coming back," Ausmus said. "We were in an early hole, down five, and chipped away. Worked our way back into the game but fell a little bit short."
Justin Upton was ejected in the seventh by plate umpire Rob Drake. Upton was called out on strikes, threw his bat and was immediately tossed by Drake. Tyler Collins replaced Upton in left field.
GATTIS CLOSE TO CATCHING
Houston manager A.J. Hinch said he would like Evan Gattis to catch in the next week to 10 days. Gattis has caught a few bullpens in the last couple days, Hinch said.
"The only uncomfortable part for me is him doing it at the major league level, having not done it for a year," Hinch said.
The last time Gattis caught in the majors was in 2014 with Atlanta.
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (broken left wrist) continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo Sunday, going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. Maybin is 8 for 37 (.216) in 10 games during his rehab assignment.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa and OF Carlos Gomez were out of the lineup Sunday to rest. ... RHP Lance McCullers (right shoulder soreness) played catch Sunday. Hinch said he had a good day and felt pretty good, and he will increase his throwing program over the next couple of days.
Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (1-0) is slated to start Tuesday's series opener at Kansas City.
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman is to start against his former team when Houston opens a three-game series at Texas on Tuesday.
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