Astros shut out Tigers behind Hunter Brown

Hunter Brown posted his fifth consecutive quality start and Mauricio Dubon capped a four-run, sixth-inning outburst with a two-run homer as the Houston Astros topped the visiting Detroit Tigers 4-0 on Friday.Brown (3-5) recorded his second consecutive scoreless start, matching his season high of nine strikeouts. He was 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA over his previous four starts but elevated his performance a notch, working a season-best seven innings while allowing five hits and no walks.Brown caught a break to open the third inning when Ryan Kreidler missed first base on his apparent leadoff double.Kreidler was ruled out upon appeal. Brown followed by retiring six consecutive batters before Justyn-Henry Malloy singled with one out in the fifth, only to be erased attempting to steal second base. Brown surrendered two more singles but capped his 96-pitch outing with an emphatic strikeout of Malloy.Brown thrived on a six-pitch mix, relying largely on 28 sinkers that averaged 95.6 mph.Tigers ace Tarik Skubal (8-2) matched Brown through five innings before suddenly coming undone. The Astros recorded just one hit off Skubal entering the sixth, and that came when Jose Altuve led off the first with a double. Skubal stranded a pair in scoring position in the first and then found a groove, retiring 12 of 13 batters over the next four frames.