DETROIT — A.J. Hinch has seen the Astros on a roll like this before, having managed them for five seasons. He also has ideas on how to stop them, having swept them in a three-game series in Houston in April.
“This is a very momentum-driven team,” the first-year Tigers manager said before Thursday’s 12-3 loss at Comerica Park. “You’ve got to win the first three innings and then put a lot of pressure on them the rest of the game.”
That didn’t happen Thursday, in part because the reigning veteran of Detroit’s current rotation struggled for a third consecutive start. And as the Astros extended their winning streak to 11 games, the Tigers — whose winning streak ended at three — were left to ponder what’s next for José Ureña.
In a rotation with three rookies — including recently promoted Matt Manning — and Wily Peralta still building up innings, Ureña is the one member who hasn’t completed five innings in his most recent turn. After this 3 2/3-inning effort, he has tossed 9 2/3 innings over his past three starts, allowing 18 earned runs on 20 hits in that span since returning from a right forearm strain.