If at first you don't succeed, wait an inning. You're playing the Astros.

Down by a run after the third, the Tigers were up by five after the fourth. With Andy Dirks' first career grand slam to lift them, the Tigers downed the Houston Astros 7-2 on Monday night at Comerica Park.

It was the first game the Astros, now 10-29, have played at Comerica as an American League team, but wasn't much more of a challenge than the last two games of the four-game series the Tigers swept in Houston 10 days ago.

In fact, the Tigers have outscored the Astros, 33-4, in the last three.

To make matters worse for the visitors, they lost their best hitter, Jose Altuve, to a subluxed (partially dislocated) jaw after a collision in the second inning — and also their best starter, Bud Norris, to lower back spasms after the fifth.

Norris (4-4) didn't look in this game like anyone's best starter should look, allowing seven runs on nine hits, but he's had only one other bad start this season — so he's definitely a keeper.

But the Tigers have a keeper as well in Anibal Sanchez, who improved to 4-3 by allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings. He didn't strike out 17 again, as he did three starts ago, but he struck out eight — which means Sanchez has fanned at least eight in six of his eight starts.

"He was up in the zone early, but made an adjustment," manager Jim Leyland said. "It wasn't his delivery as much as it was working downhill. You have to work hard to get the ball down."