DETROIT, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- Anthony Bass wouldn't reveal his secret.
What if he had to face Miguel Cabrera again, he wondered earlier in the week.
And less than 48 hours later, after giving stock answers to solving the best hitter in baseball — keep the ball down, get ahead in the count, put him away — the Astros' reliever did have to face Cabrera again.
On Monday, the game wasn't in the balance when the Wayne State product induced a weak groundout to first.
But on Thursday afternoon, as Cabrera stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning as the tying run, it was.
Two fastballs and a groundout to second later, it wasn't.
Bass retired Cabrera, the Astros beat the Tigers, 6-2, at Comerica Park and retired Detroit's winning streak at eight games.
So, about that secret to getting Cabrera out.
"Get him out," Bass said, coyly. "It felt good. Anytime you can help the team in a situation to win the game, it always feels good."
And it felt good to end his first road trip to Detroit — he grew up in Trenton — on a high note.
On Monday, he allowed a home run to Victor Martinez. He was reminded of it by a couple of his friends.
"There's a reason why he's hitting .330," he said.
And the Tigers' first baseman showed it once again on Thursday. Martinez went 3-for-4, extended his hitting streak to 11 games and hit his third home run of the four-game set as the only bright spot in an otherwise punchless Detroit performance on offense.
Astros' left-hander Dallas Keuchel got ahead of Tigers hitters and kept them off-balance over seven-plus strong innings, outpitching his friend and former college roommate at Arkansas — Drew Smyly.
"We did not make very much hard contact off him," manager Brad Ausmus said. "So it was more about him than it was about how Smyly pitched."
Smyly didn't think he pitched poorly, he said.
"I feel like I threw pretty good," said Smyly, who went 51⁄3 innings and gave up five hits and three earned runs. "The fifth inning just spiraled out of control for me."
After starting solid, the Tigers' lefty stumbled in the fifth when he allowed a solo home run to Houston rookie George Springer — the first of his career — a hit, a walk and then, after a nine-pitch battle, a two-run double to Jose Altuve.
"You have to be the one to win that," he said. "That's the difference in the game."
On the double, the Astros took a one-run lead, their first of the series.
Carlos Corporan homered off Evan Reed in the seventh to double the lead, and Matt Dominguez doubled it again in the ninth with a two-run home run to left field.
And one of the worst teams in baseball beat one of the best teams in baseball, avoiding a four-game sweep.
"I don't think we ever really threatened," Smyly said. "It was just one of those days."