After taking down the San Diego Padres, 12-4, on Monday, the Detroit Tigers fell in a hard-fought battle that featured some late-game heroics from Riley Greene. The Tigers fell, 6-4, but it took extra innings for the Padres to notch their first-ever win in Detroit.
Things started off okay for Garrett Hill aside from some command trouble, but the wheels really came off in the third inning. The Padres put up a three-spot behind a Luke Voit double off the wall that scored two and a Jorge Alfaro ground-rule double. Voit’s ball looked like it may have cleared the top of the wall but a replay confirmed that it stayed in play. The Tigers went down 1-2-3 in response (*cue sad trombone noises*).
Hill bounced back in the fourth with an eight-pitch frame but Detroit’s offense was nowhere to be found after putting up a dozen runs the night before. Harold Castro provided the Tigers with their first extra-base hit of the night, but Miguel Cabrera and Jeimer Candelario couldn’t bring him in.
Manny Machado led off the fifth with a single, but Hill made it through the inning without giving up another base. That was the end of the road for him at 88 pitches. Four walks probably took an inning from him, but the big inning came off balls in play and featured just one of those walks.
Alex Lange was the first man out of the bullpen for Detroit. He made it look easy, inducing a pair of groundouts first and striking out Ha-Seong Kim. Jose Cisnero looked to be in a bit more trouble after losing Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth to walks, but Javier Báez bailed him out with a nifty double play.
Meanwhile, Mike Clevinger continued his dominance of the Tigers and cruised through six innings of work. Fortunately, Bob Melvin stuck with him into the seventh and that’s when Detroit finally broke through.
Miggy worked the count full and slapped a double No. 606 of his illustrious career into the left-field corner of Comerica Park. That gives Cabrera sole possession of 14th place on the all-time doubles list, breaking the tie with Paul Molitor. Next up is Hammerin’ Hank Aaron at 624.
As much as I was prepared to ramble here about how great it’s been to have No. 24 wear the Olde English D all these years, I can’t because Jeimer Candelario hit his second home run in as many nights to put the Tigers within a run of a tie game. The Candy Man was getting a lot of flack heading into the All-Star break, and there are still plenty of concerns about his production, but it’s good to see him see a bit of success. Now he just needs to sustain it.
Jonathan Schoop singled after a Willi Castro pop-out to second and represented the tying run of the game, but he never ended up crossing the plate. Tucker Barnhart struck out on a ball that he thought was a bit high and Akil Baddoo was rung up on what looked to be an even worse call in the same spot to end the inning. Baseball Savant’s live at-bat feature actually confirmed home-plate umpire Jordan Baker’s call on Baddoo, but the Barnhart strikeout was unjustified.
Michael Fulmer pitched a clean eighth for all of the scouts in town and, at this point, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Padres work something out so that they can take him back west with them. The Tigers strung together a two-out rally in the bottom of the frame against Luis Garcia, San Diego’s first reliever of the night, but Candelario couldn’t deliver with Harold Castro and Miguel Cabrera on base.
Gregory Soto, Detroit’s closer, came out to pitch the ninth inning, which is weird because the Tigers didn’t have the lead… yet.
Willi Castro found a hole in the left side of the infield on the seventh pitch of his at-bat against Padres closer Taylor Rogers, and the Tigers once again had the tying run on base. Schoop began swinging for the fences but got too far under the ball and popped it into foul territory for Profar to make a stellar diving play on.
Eric Haase struck out while pinch-hitting for Barnhart and Robbie Grossman stepped in for Baddoo. Grossman walked giving Greene, the prodigal son, a chance to send the fans home happy.
And. The. Kid. Delivered.
Alright, it wasn’t the walk-off dinger against Kansas City, but Greene knows how to come through in the clutch and that’s important.
Anyway, Báez struck out quickly after that and Soto came back out for his second inning of work. Horrible idea. He beamed Cronenworth on the very first, putting men on first and second. Teams get a free runner on second to start extra innings.
Soto got his ground ball from Manny Machado, but Báez bobbled it looking for two and made his 12th error of the year to load the bases. After Soto struck out Esteury Ruiz for a big first out, Chris Fetter made his way out to the mound to talk strategy. He probably didn’t say “hit him and walk in a run,” but that’s the way the cookie crumbles in Detroit.
After strikeout No. 2 of the inning from Soto, Jason Foley came in and promptly gave up two more runs on his first pitch of the night. Both will end up on Soto’s record rather than Foley’s.
Candelario delivered another RBI in the bottom of the tenth, but all of Detroit’s magic was used up in the last inning. San Diego finally has a win in Detroit after failing to get on in 1984 or 2005, but it took a Herculean effort to get the job done. The two teams will face off in a rubber match on Wednesday that starts at 1:10 p.m. ET.