HOUSTON -- On the heels of yet another dominating outing at Minute Maid Park, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel groused that he didn't feel good, an admission that was either disingenuous or reflective of just how impenetrable he's become while working in his home environs.
Working without the benefit of decent run support, Keuchel (2-1) breezed. He allowed five singles and didn't issue a walk until his 27th batter, Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias with one out in the eighth inning.
"I'm not sure the 27th batter was a walk either," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "(Keuchel) commanded the zone and really attacked the zone. That first inning they came out swinging the bats. He finagled his way through the first inning and then really, really settled in and pounded the zone. I looked up at one point and he was like 40 out of 50 strikes.
"He was filling up the strike zone with his stuff, and when he does that and he's controlling contact and we play good defense behind him, that's a good combo."
Keuchel has won 17 consecutive decisions at Minute Maid Park, which is now tied for the eighth-longest home winning streak since 1913, recently accomplished by Marlins righty Jose Fernandez (2013-15).
Keuchel insisted that his repertoire didn't feel as effective as the results suggested. Nevertheless, he was thankful for the outcome.
"I'll definitely take it," Keuchel said. "That's a lineup that can do a lot of damage. I felt better the first two times out and one good, one decent and one pretty good here at home. It's funny how baseball (works) -- you don't always feel your best. I'm a little disappointed I didn't make some pitches early but I'll take some missed pitches and missed swings there in the first to kind of get me going."
Astros closer Luke Gregerson was summoned in the ninth inning to face the middle of the Detroit (6-3) order. He retired Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez on five pitches as the Astros (4-7) snapped a three-game skid. Gregerson earned his third save.
Colby Rasmus delivered the lone run, driving in George Springer with an RBI single in the first after Springer singled and advanced to second on a Carlos Correa walk off Tigers right-hander Mike Pelfrey (0-2).
When Pelfrey closed the sixth inning by facing the minimum for a second consecutive frame, it served as a reminder to how many opportunities the Astros squandered in their first three at-bats.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the first inning and loaded them again in the second, that time with no outs. Pelfrey struck out Evan Gattis before inducing a groundout off the bat of Carlos Gomez to limit the first-inning damage. In the second, Correa followed a Springer strikeout by rolling into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play.
Pelfrey induced another inning-ending double play in the third, this time from Gomez, after allowing a Rasmus single prior to a Tyler White walk.
"I think one thing that saved me was my split was really good," Pelfrey said.
The Astros finished 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position against Pelfrey, who departed allowing just one run on five hits and six walks over six innings. That he proved elusive was a testament to his determination, but his resilience wasn't enough to combat Keuchel.
"It's the late movement that makes him tough," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Keuchel. "We hit some balls well early off of him. Then, he settled in, and you didn't see a lot of hard contact after that. He's got the Cy Young award for a reason."
NOTES: Astros RHP Lance McCullers will be scratched from his start Saturday with Double-A Corpus Christi as he continues to deal with lingering discomfort during the recovery period between starts. McCullers, placed on the 15-day disabled list on March 25 with right shoulder soreness, made his first rehab start earlier this week and experienced no complications during the outing. The club will tweak his throwing program. ... The Tigers recalled RHP Alex Wilson from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Buck Farmer to Triple A Toledo late Friday. Wilson had been on the DL since April 2 (retroactive to March 25) with right rotator cuff capsulitis. ... Tigers DH Victor Martinez is poised to become the fifth Venezuelan-born player with 1,000 career RBIs. Martinez opened the weekend series with 997 and trails teammate Miguel Cabrera (1,449), Andres Galarraga (1,425), Bobby Abreu (1,363) and Magglio Ordonez (1,236) on the list.