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Astros lose to Tigers 2-0, drop 3rd straight as Cosart pitches a gem against AL's top team

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DETROIT - Jarred Cosart gave the Houston Astros a shot to knock off the Detroit Tigers, and they wasted the opportunity.

Cosart was the loser even though he did not give up an earned run in Houston's 2-0 setback against the Tigers.

The Astros, who had scored 20 runs in their previous three games, failed to bring one runner home and could not make a routine play in the field that proved to be costly.

Detroit's Nick Castellanos reached in the seventh inning because first baseman Marc Krauss dropped a perfect throw from third baseman Matt Dominguez and ended up scoring the game's first run when Rajai Davis hit an RBI single.

"I just took my eye off the ball," Krauss said. "That was a pretty bad time to do something like that because Cosart was pitching his guts out against one of the best teams in baseball, and I handed them another out in a key situation.

"I feel horrible because I cost him a great shot at a win," he said.

Cosart (1-3) allowed four hits in seven innings.

The Astros, who have the worst record in the majors, had a team meeting recently and manager Bo Porter told his players that they need to realize there is a lot of baseball left to play this season.

"I wanted to make sure that as a team, we don't lose sight of that," Porter said.

Max Scherzer pitched three-hit ball and struck out nine over eight innings to help the AL-leading Tigers win a season-high sixth straight game.

Catcher Alex Avila threw out two runners in the late innings for the Tigers, who have the best record in the AL.

Scherzer (4-1) earned his fourth straight win. The reigning Cy Young Award winner has struck out at least seven in each of his seven starts this season, the only pitcher to pull off that feat in franchise history and the first for any team since San Francisco's Tim Lincecum in 2010.

"He's a Cy Young winner for a reason, but Jarred matched him pitch for pitch," Porter said. "That was a great performance, but we couldn't get him a win."

Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his sixth save in eight chances.

Nathan walked Dexter Fowler to lead off the inning. Fowler tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt and was thrown out by Alex Avila, a call that stood after a video review.

"I took off when I saw the ball hit the dirt, but give that guy credit," Fowler said. "He made a heck of a pick and a great throw. I thought I was safe when I slid, and I really couldn't tell from the replay. But he called me out, so I'm out."

Scherzer gave up a leadoff walk to Krauss in the eighth and Jonathan Villar singled with one out. Jose Altuve then struck out and Avila threw out pinch-runner Marwin Gonzalez trying to steal third.

"That was definitely a momentum-shifter," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said.

Houston's Anthony Bass, who pitched at nearby Wayne State University, gave up a solo homer to Victor Martinez in the eighth.

Both starting pitchers slowed down lineups that have been more productive lately. The Tigers scored at least eight runs in each win during their three-game sweep at Kansas City last weekend. Houston had a combined 20 runs in its previous three games.

NOTES: Astros RHP Scott Feldman, who has been on the DL since mid-April with right biceps tendinitis, is expected to start Friday at Baltimore. ... Porter said RHP Matt Albers, on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, is "getting closer," to returning.

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