Ike started the second with a walk, and Starling Marte joined him on the basepaths after getting plunked. Pedro whiffed on three pitches; everyone in the league is feeding him change ups, and he's giving them no reason to switch recipes. A pop and another K quietly ended the inning. Victor Martinez got the game's first knock when he rolled a hook up the middle and Torii Hunter followed with a flare to left. Don Kelly helped Vanimal's cause with a 4-6-3- DP, but the joy was short lived as Nick Castellanos ripped a heater to center past a diving Marte for a triple to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
With an out in the third, Josh finally solved Farmer for a double to left. With two down, Russ poked a fastball into right for a two-bagger to tie the game. Ike K'ed looking; he saw six pitches and swung at exactly one of them; the two called strikes were fastballs he let fly by. With two away for Detroit, Ian Kinsler singled to left, and he moved to second on a wild pitch. Miggy flew out softly to right to finish the frame.
Pedro singled with one gone in the fourth and came in when Jordy spanked a first pitch heater for a triple into the left field corner that Kelly had trouble fielding cleanly. The Tigers challenged the call at third on a fairly close play, but he won the call from NY. The suddenly sizzling Travis Snider took the next pitch, a fastball, over the fence in right center. Farmer got the next two outs routinely, but is probably just been broken of the habit of starting guys off with a first strike fastball, especially the second time through the lineup.
Hunter doubled with one gone on a ball that El Coffee apparently lost in the lights, but Worley worked through the gaffe with some help from Josh's mitt to keep the lead at 4-1.
Farmer went back to the soft stuff. After a couple of routine outs, Ike rolled one up the middle, but the rookie got a fastball out when Marte flew out to right.
Alex Avila led off the Detroit half with a homer; he's the classic lefty for whom down and in is a sweet spot, especially with a spinning slider. Eugenia Suarez followed with a bouncer up the middle. Ezequiel Carrera followed by rolling one to Jayson Nix at second, who booted it; the Buc leather isn't doing Vanimal any favors tonight.
Josh stayed solid though, making a nice grab and throw to nail Kinsler's near-perfect bunt, but the runners did move up. Miggy drilled a drive to right that Polanco's speed kept from being a two-bagger, but the sac fly brought in one more run and moved up Carrera, who came in to tie the game on Martinez's single on a heater up and away that he rifled into center. Hunter grounded out, but it's a new game.
Blaine Hardy took the bump for Motown in the sixth. Pedro didn't see any changes, but still K'ed on a fastball-slider-curve combo, all inner half at the knees. Jordy walked, but no magic for Snider, who banged into a 4-6-3 DP. After an out, Castellanos went yard on another flat slider to make it 5-4 Cats. Avila spoiled three fastballs and then took a walk on another that missed low. That brought Jared Hughes to the hill, and four pitches later he walked off it after an around-the-horn DP.
Hardy got three garden variety grounders in the seventh. Stolmy Pimentel took the ball and Carrera greeted him with a triple to right center that should have been an out (or at least an error); Polanco tracked it down but had it fall out of his glove. That was followed by a walk to Kinsler, who stole second. Miggy was up 2-0 at that point, and was then intentionally walked. Martinez singled home a pair, and the Tigers had a three run pad with no one out yet.
Jeanmar Gomez came in. A force scored another run, then Kelly dropped a single into center. Castellanos banged into a DP, but the cows are out of the barn; it's 8-4, Detroit. Joba Chamberlain took the bump in the eighth. He walked Ike with an out, then K'ed Starling and Pedro. Jeanmar tossed a clean frame.
Joe Nathan came out for the ninth, and he promptly lost Jordy and then Travis. But he found the strike zone eventually and got a fly and DP to nail down the win.
Well, the Kid should be back soon and even Clint Barmes should return within a week or so, and that should restore the balance to the bench. The bullpen is another matter.
The brass never replaced Grilli or Morris and now are carrying three long men. So you can quibble with Hurdle's late-inning choices, but he doesn't have a very good hand to play, and that's not his fault. So whether the FO decides to bring up Drew Oliver/Vinnie Mazzaro or more likely trade for a veteran, they need a another bridge guy, and soon. They're entering a rough stretch of games against the teams the club is battling head-to-head and can't afford to be caught short.
Francisco Liriano and Max Scherzer close out the home-and-home series tomorrow afternoon in a get-away day special.
- Russ' third inning RBI double was his 1,000th MLB hit.
- No one claimed Ernesto Frieri and he was assigned to Indy.
- Ah, those claim-happy Bucs. C Ramon Cabrera just was DFA'ed by Detroit for Buck Farmer. The Pirates claimed him and assigned him to Altoona. If the name sounds familiar, it's because he's the guy Pittsburgh sent to the Tigers for LHP Drew Oliver a couple of years ago. Indy reliever Wirfin Obispo was DFA'ed to clear a 40-man space; he was another waiver claim from earlier in the season.
- Mark Emery of MiLB has a piece on the developing arsenal of pitching prospect Luis Heredia.