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Tigers break out bats in rout of Astros

Miguel Cabrera crushed two homers and reached base every time he came to plate, and the Detroit Tigers recorded 21 hits in a 17-2 thrashing of the Houston Astros in the third test of a four-game set from Minute Maid Park.

The reigning American League MVP and Triple Crown winner knocked in six runs for the fifth time in his career, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a walk in the Tigers' third straight win and eighth in nine games.

The Detroit hitters never let up against the Astros' pitching staff, producing at least one run in every inning but the third and providing more than enough support for Max Scherzer (4-0), who was brilliant once again.

Scherzer continually stayed ahead of batters over his eight innings of work and scattered just one run on three hits. He struck out eight as well to win his third straight start.

Torii Hunter went 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored, Victor Martinez clubbed a two-run homer and drove in four, Jhonny Peralta knocked in a pair of runs and Alex Avila, Prince Fielder and Omar Infante drove one apiece.

"One of the strengths of our team is our offense and how well we can club the ball," Scherzer said.

It was an emphatic fifth loss in a row and ninth in 10 games for Houston, which mustered just six hits.

Lucas Harrell (3-3) wasn't even close to winning his fourth straight decision, getting tagged for eight runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings.

"They just placed the ball in the right spot. It was just one of those days where even when you make a good pitch, they still get a hit," Harrell said.

The onslaught began right away, with Cabrera spraying an RBI single into right in the first inning. Two batters later, Martinez stroked a two-run double off the wall in left center before Peralta had an RBI base hit to cap the four-run inning.

Cabrera got his second turn at-bat the following inning and launched his fifth homer of the season, a two-run blast into left field. His bases-loaded walk in the fourth made it 7-0 in favor of Detroit.

Avila doubled home Andy Dirks in the fifth and Cabrera's second homer of the game, a solo blast into left to begin the sixth, provided the Tigers with a nine-run cushion.

The Tigers continued to punish the Astros by plating three more in the seventh, with Hunter, Cabrera and Fielder delivering consecutive RBI singles to build Detroit's lead up to 12-0.

Carlos Corporan recorded Houston's third hit of the game in the seventh, reaching Scherzer for a two-out solo homer, but the Tigers would plate five more runs over the last two innings.

Peralta doubled in a run in the eighth and would come home on an error by Houston shortstop Ronny Cedeno. Hunter provided an RBI double to cap the frame, while Martinez stroked a two-run homer in the top half of the ninth to make the score 17-1.

The Astros brought a run home in bottom half of the inning on Jason Castro's line-drive single into right.

Game Notes

Cabrera recorded his 26th multi-home run game. The last time he accomplished the feat was Sept. 18 of last season, which was also the last time he drove in six runs ... Every starter in Detroit's lineup had at least two hits except for Fielder and Dirks, who each had one ... The Tigers were 8-for-19 with runners in scoring position.