The 2014 Detroit Tigers have been a team of extreme streaks. First, Detroit jumped out to a 27-12 start, the best record in baseball through May 18. But then a 10-20 stretch brought the Tigers back to the pack, even allowing the Kansas City Royals to momentarily take over first place in the American League Central Division.
Now, the better version of the Tigers travels to Houston on a seven-game winning streak, hoping to polish off a road trip that began with sweeps of the Indians and Rangers.
Detroit's recent hot streak is largely thanks to a rejuvenated starting rotation. In the last seven games the starters have combined to allow just eight earned runs in 48 1/3 innings, recording six wins and six quality starts. The stretch was capped by Rick Porcello's first career complete game shutout on Thursday night.
Justin Verlander will try to continue that trend Friday against an Astros team averaging under two runs per game in their last seven games. Verlander shut out the Astros over seven innings in his only career start against them last May, allowing just two hits and striking out nine.
Houston will counter with 26-year-old Brad Peacock, who lost his only start against Detroit earlier this season. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez homered off the righty, handing him his third loss of the season.
Detroit will play two afternoon games to conclude the series in Houston before returning to Comerica Park for a nine-game homestand.