Detroit Tigers rally for 8-run eighth inning in 9-8 win over Philadelphia Phillies

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-8, on Saturday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, improving to 12-11 in Grapefruit League play.

What happened

Right-hander Julio Teheran made his final start of the exhibition season. Recently added to the roster and starting rotation, the 30-year-old cruised through three innings. A first-inning solo homer by Odubel Herrera was the only damage against him until the fourth. Teheran finished with six runs allowed on three hits and three walks, with three strikeouts, in 3⅔ innings. Relievers Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto pitched scoreless innings; they’re battling with others for specific leverage roles in the bullpen.

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In the eighth, backup catcher Grayson Greiner smacked a 357-foot home run to left field on a 91.6 mph fastball. It was Greiner’s second long ball this spring and started a seven-walk, eight-run inning. The Tigers continued by loading the bases with no outs. Victor Reyes drove in two runs with a double. Greiner got back to the plate and walked with the bases loaded to cut the deficit to two.

The Phillies walked in four consecutive runs, giving the Tigers a 9-8 lead that right-hander Ethan DeCaster didn’t squander. He picked up the save.

Starting off

Teheran threw 69 pitches (40 strikes): 36 sinkers, 16 sliders, 10 changeups and five four-seam fastballs. He got five swings-and-misses — three with his sinker and one each with his slider and four-seamer — and eight called strikes. In the fourth, it was a nine-pitch walk from Matt Joyce that began his downward spiral. He allowed two bases-clearing extra base hits. His fastball velocity averaged 91.2 mph and reached 93.1 mph.

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At the plate

Jonathan Schoop doubled to left field to start the second inning and, one out later, Wilson Ramos scored him with a sharp single up the middle. Designated hitter Miguel Cabrera looked off balance, striking out twice in three hitless at-bats. Ramos and Jeimer Candelario each picked up one hit and one walk. Riley Greene drew a walk and scored on Dustin Garneau’s sacrifice fly; Kody Clemens went 1-for-2 with an infield single. Reyes’ double scored Isaac Paredes and Zack Short, cutting the Tigers’ deficit to 8-5 in the eighth. Greene came back up in the eighth with the bases loaded and walked again.

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On the mound

Six pitchers combined for eight walks and 10 strikeouts. The tone was set by Teheran’s three walks, but righty Alex Lange — who got out of the fourth — allowed one run and walked two opponents. Daniel Norris, Cisnero and Logan Shore each walked one batter. The only pitcher (besides DeCaster) who didn’t allow a walk was Soto, who commonly struggles with his command. He reached 100 mph with his fastball and got three swings-and-misses. Of his 14 pitches, 10 went for strikes.

Three stars

1. Soto, 2. Candelario, 3. DeCaster.

Next up

Sunday against Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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