Rick Porcello was the Tigers' chief architect Thursday. And how humble of him to have stepped aside as his Tigers bullpen mates applied the finishing artistry to a stirring 14-inning display of pitching in a 7-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Porcello and four Tigers relievers combined to shut out the Astros during the game's final 10 innings on a remarkable night when pitchers from both teams combined to strike out 36 batters. Each team had 18.

Luke Putkonen, who had barely been in a Tigers uniform for 24 hours, got the victory, his first as a big-leaguer, thanks to 2.1 innings of no-hit, no-run, four-strikeout pitching that featured only a single walk.

"I felt good," said Putkonen, who next week turns 27, and who was with the Tigers briefly in 2012. "Felt I had a curveball that I could bury and throw out of the zone."

It explained a few of the Astros' swings and misses on a night when strikeouts were being dispensed by the bushel.

Jose Ortega, a 24-year-old rookie right-handed reliever, was first to Porcello's rescue as he spun his four-pitch combination (fastball, splitter, slider, change-up) to the tune of two innings, no hits, three strikeouts and no walks.

Joaquin Benoit followed with two scoreless innings, no hits, three strikeouts, and a walk. Darin Downs, a left-hander who had taken some bruises during the past week, pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing nothing more than a single.

"It shows how deep we are," said catcher Brayan Pena, who replaced Alex Avila late in the game. "I'm no GM, but those kids were impressive.