Tigers bang out 17 runs, 21 hits in rout of Astros

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This is going to dent the ol’ run differential. The Astros entered the night having allowed 51 more runs than they have scored, among the worst in baseball along with the Blue Jays and Marlins. The Astros are comfortably in first place in that department after getting pummeled by the Detroit Tigers 17-2 tonight, bumping that run differential to -66.

The Tigers banged out 21 hits, including three home runs (two by Miguel Cabrera), and walked five times, scoring in eight of nine innings. Five of those eight innings were multi-run innings. Astros starter Lucas Harrell was on the hook for eight runs in 4.1 innings, reliever Jose Cisnero allowed six runs in 2.2 innings, and Paul Clemens allowed three runs (two earned) in two innings.

Meanwhile, the Astros were only able to push across one run on a Carlos Corporan solo home run in the seventh. Tigers starter Max Scherzer was otherwise on point all night, allowing three hits in total while striking out eight and walking two in eight innings of work. Al Alburquerque surrendered a run in garbage time in the ninth inning.

Surprisingly, tonight wasn’t even the Astros’ worst game of the season, pitching-wise. They surrendered 19 runs to the Indians on April 19 in a 19-6 loss.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.