Houston Astros outfielder George Springer hit his 27th home run of the season during a win against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday in Houston. Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Center fielder George Springer set the franchise record for leadoff homers in a single season by belting his 10th game-opening bomb of the year in a win against the Detroit Tigers.
Springer's 351-foot blast came in the bottom of the first inning during the 6-3 win Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
"I don't know if it's a driving force, but it's a way we win," Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters. "When we start the game with two homers, that's a great start. And George and Jose both jump-started us a little bit.
"We don't have to rely on the homer. I think that's one of the beauties of this offense, but when we do homer, everybody loves it."
Tigers right fielder Victor Reyes got Detroit on the board first by leading off the top of the inning with his first homer of the season. Houston starter Aaron Sanchez retired the next three Tigers hitters, prompting Springer to step to the plate and leadoff the Astros order.
Springer settled in against Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull. He proceeded to smash a 2-2 slider over the right field fence for his 27th homer of the season. The opposite field solo shot had an exit velocity of 97 mph and left the field in five seconds, according to Statcast.
Houston piled on with a home run from Jose Altuve in the next at-bat, earning a 2-1 lead. Altuve returned to the plate in the next inning and hit an RBI single off Turnbull. Michael Brantley followed with a double, plating Altuve and Jack Mayfield for a 5-1 advantage.
Miguel Cabrera walked with the bases loaded in the third frame for Detroit's second run. Dawel Lugo followed by plating Victor Reyes on a ground out with the bases loaded.
Astros slugger Martin Maldonado hit his team's third homer of the game in the bottom of the fifth frame, making the score final.
Springer went 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, a walk and two strikeouts in the win. Altuve was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Astros. Springer is now hitting .293 with 68 RBIs in addition to his 27 homers this season.
The Astros and Tigers resume their series at 8:10 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Houston.