DETROIT — Of all the reasons for confidence the Tigers will take out of this season to raise hopes and expectations, they added another on Tuesday: They won a battle of bullpens against the Brewers. Derek Hill’s 11th-inning RBI double scored Victor Reyes for a 1-0 win at Comerica Park.
For six innings, it wasn’t just a last name that starters Wily and Freddy Peralta had in common; both had scoreless two-hit performances going. Freddy didn’t allow a hit until Jeimer Candelario’s fifth-inning bloop single, striking out nine Tigers in his best outing since May. Wily kept pace despite two walks with five strikeouts, retiring his final nine batters following former Tiger Avisaíl García’s single in the fourth. Both pitchers allowed one ball with an exit velocity over 100 mph, both for outs.
Wily Peralta was being lifted before heavy rains stopped the game with Alex Lange set to begin the seventh inning. The ensuing one-hour, 49-minute rain delay ended Freddy Peralta’s night. Lange never threw a pitch, but Derek Holland, Kyle Funkhouser, Gregory Soto and Bryan Garcia combined for five scoreless innings to give the Tigers a chance, with Soto stranding the potential go-ahead run in the top of the 10th to end his second inning of work.
For a while, it looked like simply delaying heartbreak. Brad Boxberger posted two strikeouts and a groundout in a clean seventh, then Devin Williams induced swings and misses off his changeup to fan the bottom of the Tigers’ lineup in order in the eighth. Once Brewers closer Josh Hader took over for the ninth, however, the top of the Detroit’s order waited him out after Hill’s pinch-hit strikeout to lead off the inning.
Hill got another chance in the bottom of the 11th with Victor Reyes as the automatic runner on second base. Hill laced a line drive into right-center, legging out a double as Reyes came around to score.