Rick Porcello was the Tigers' chief architect Thursday. And how humble of him to have stepped aside as his Tigers bullpen mates applied the finishing artistry to a stirring 14-inning display of pitching in a 7-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Porcello and four Tigers relievers combined to shut out the Astros during the game's final 10 innings on a remarkable night when pitchers from both teams combined to strike out 36 batters. Each team had 18. Luke Putkonen, who had barely been in a Tigers uniform for 24 hours, got the victory, his first as a big-leaguer, thanks to 2.1 innings of no-hit, no-run, four-strikeout pitching that featured only a single walk. "I felt good," said Putkonen, who next week turns 27, and who was with the Tigers briefly in 2012. "Felt I had a curveball that I could bury and throw out of the zone." It explained a few of the Astros' swings and misses on a night when strikeouts were being dispensed by the bushel. Jose Ortega, a 24-year-old rookie right-handed reliever, was first to Porcello's rescue as he spun his four-pitch combination (fastball, splitter, slider, change-up) to the tune of two innings, no hits, three strikeouts and no walks. Joaquin Benoit followed with two scoreless innings, no hits, three strikeouts, and a walk. Darin Downs, a left-hander who had taken some bruises during the past week, pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing nothing more than a single. "It shows how deep we are," said catcher Brayan Pena, who replaced Alex Avila late in the game. "I'm no GM, but those kids were impressive.
Add 18 more strikeouts to Tigers pitchers' increasingly impressive resume
Detroit News | May 3