Tigers 8, Diamondbacks 3: Huge two-out rally powers Tigers to victory

Bless You Boys

This one started off just a little different from Friday night’s victory. Zac Gallen will do that to you. Still the Tigers didn’t have too much trouble generating traffic on the bases. Early on they just couldn’t get the big hit. That all changed in the seventh inning when a monster six-run rally put the Dbacks down for good as the Tigers went on to win 8-3.

Riley Greene lined out sharply to right field to open the game, and Mark Canha struck out. Wenceel Pérez ripped a triple over right fielder Pavin Smith’s head, but Kerry Carpenter couldn’t lay off some good Gallen breaking balls and struck out.

Gio Urshela led off the second with a double to right field, and the next three hitters struck out to strand him. In the third, Greene singled with one out, but Mark Canha’s soft liner went right to Kevin Newman at shortstop and Pérez flew out to right field to end the inning.

The Diamondbacks were having even less success against Jack Flaherty. The right-hander got two strikeouts in the first after popping up leadoff man Corbin Carroll. He struck out two more in the second, and then in the third started things off striking out a tough hitter in Gabriel Moreno. By that point he already had a ton of swinging strikes piling up. Colt Keith made a really nice play to charge and flip a Jake McCarthy bunt to Torkelson for the second out, and Flaherty froze Newman with a 97 mph heater to end the third inning for his sixth strikeout with no hits allowed.

The fourth began with Kirk Gibson talking about how the Diamondbacks were almost named the Scorpions, before encouraging Jason Benetti to try getting stung by one for the experience. Meanwhile, Carpenter was struggling with Gallen’s slider-knucklecurve combo and whiffed again for the first out. Gio Urshela ripped a one-hopper right to the second baseman for the second out, and Colt Keith flew out to end the half inning.

Corbin Carroll was the first to crack Flaherty’s armor. He led off the bottom of the fourth by pulling a liner into the right field corner. The speedy center fielder cruised into third with a standup triple and the Dbacks had their first scoring opportunity. Flaherty carved up Ketel Marte again with nasty sliders for the first out. A picture perfect fastball at Joc Pederson’s hands got a soft bliner to Colt Keith with the infield pulled in. Carroll couldn’t advance, and that left it up to Christian Walker.

Carson Kelly came out to discuss the plan with Flaherty, and he mixed in sinkers with the fourseamer before getting a whiff on a slider and then blowing Walker away with 97 mph gas to strand Carroll. Heck of a goal line stand, as it were.

The fifth began with Gallen having the mound thoroughly repaired for the second time after Flaherty continued to dig a hole in front of the rubber. They were dueling in every way in this one. Apparently Gallen doesn’t like an edge to push off of, which is kind of weird, but okay. Hard to argue with Gallen’s results the past few years.

With one out in the fifth, Javier Báez reached out for a curveball on the outer edge and hooked it sharply to left for a double. Unfortunately, Carson Kelly quickly grounded out and Báez couldn’t advance. That left it up to the right guy, Riley Greene. Báez at second base was flashing signals to Greene as Gallen checked him at second, but it seemed like just a move to irritate him. Either way, it didn’t help as Greene saw a bunch of fastballs well away to get into a 3-1 count, but then lifted a weak pop-up into center field to strand Báez.

Flaherty got a bit of a talking to about digging out the rubber too much before starting the bottom of the fifth. Pavin Smith immediately lined a leadoff single the opposite way. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Eugenio Suarez grounded a real softy to Báez, but it wasn’t hit hard enough to turn the double play. The dangerous Gabriel Moreno drew a rare walk from Flaherty, but he got a soft liner from McCarthy right to Báez who easily doubled off Suarez at second to end the inning.

Gallen quickly retired the Tigers 1-2-3 in the sixth. Flaherty gave up an infield single to Newman to lead off the bottom half. He bounced back to get a weak ground ball from Carroll but he beat out the double play turn and immediately became a huge threat to steal second with Marte at the plate. Marte lifted a deep drive up the gap in left center field and just over the outstretched glove of Riley Greene. It went to the wall for a triple, and it was 1-0 Diamondbacks.

Joc Pederson then ripped a curveball through the right side of the infield for an RBI single to make it 2-0. Christian Walker worked into a 3-2 count, and Flaherty nailed the upper corner of the zone under Walker’s hands with a perfect fourseamer…and didn’t get the call. So Pavin Smith came to the dish with runners on first and second. Chris Fetter came out for a brief chat to cool Flaherty down. Smith pulled a weak grounder to Báez, who bobbled in for a moment but got the out at second anyway. Again it probably wasn’t hit hard enough to get the inning ending double play. So, it was up to Eugenio Suarez. Flaherty carved him up for his ninth strikeout and ended another excellent outing with 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K.

What the Tigers needed now was to get Gallen out of the game as well. Urshela got them off to a good start by smoking a Gallen slider up the gap in right center field for a leadoff double. Keith had a poor AB, whiffing at a pair of curveballs to strike out. Torkelson got blown away by a high fastball, and that left it up to Javy Báez.

Javy was ready for the inside heat and torched a fastball off the wall in left field, just a few feet too low to get over the wall, and cruised into second with an RBI double. Carson Kelly, back in his old home park, knifed a liner through the right side for an RBI single to score Báez and knock Gallen out of the game.

2-2 tie, and a brand new game.

Riley Greene was up next. Torey Lovullo went to lefty, and former Tigers farmhand, Joe Mantiply, and Greene greeted him by staying inside a sinker to slice a liner into the left field corner for a double, with Kelly stopping at third. The Diamondbacks elected to intentionally walk Mark Canha to load the bases, and Pérez was seen smiling in the on deck circle, recognizing the challenge.

Pérez turned around to bat right-handed against the lefty and appear to just stroke a routine fly ball into the left center field gap, but it just kept carrying. The ball landed on the warning track and cleared the bases as the Tigers center fielder booked it around to third with another triple. 5-2 Tigers, OH YES GOOD KING WENCEELAS.

At this point, A.J. Hinch made everyone’s favorite move and pinch-hit Matt Vierling for Carpenter. This inspired Lovullo to go to hard-throwing right-hander Justin Martinez, who promptly walked Vierling to put runners at the corners with Urshela at the plate for the second time in the inning. A little grounder back up the middle that didn’t even get beyond the outfield grass went for a single to score Pérez and make it 6-2. Finally, Colt Keith slapped a hard grounder to shortstop for the final out of the inning.

Alex Lange got the first call with a couple of lefty mashers due up if there was trouble. And there was trouble. When Alex Lange takes the mound, the gods flip a coin. We got the bad Alex Lange early on as he walked the first two hitters and couldn’t find the mark. However, a visit from Chris Fetter did the trick. Lange popped up McCarthy and then got a double play ball from Corbin Carroll to turn the Diamondbacks away.

Torkelson led off the eighth with a single to center field against RHP Kevin Ginkel. Báez flicked a single down the right field line, and Carson Kelly smoked a hot shot just fair down the third base line for a double. Torkelson scored, while Joey Cora held Báez at third. The DBacks pulled their infield in, and Greene grounded out to second base. However, a high chopper down the third base line allowed Mark Canha to reach and load the bases. Báez broke home, but then oddly retreated back to third. It didn’t matter as Pérez, back hitting left-handed, lifted a deep fly ball to left field for a sacrifice fly. 8-2 Tigers. Vierling lined out to center field to end the inning.

Andrew Chafin took over in the eighth, starting with Ketel Marte, who tends to mash lefties. Here he grounded out to Báez for the first out of the inning. Lovullo pinch hit Randal Grichuk for Joc Pederson, and Grichuk slapped a single through the right side. Chafin struck out Walker for his 500th career punchout, but a passed ball on Kelly moved Grichuk to second. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. pinch-hit for Pavin and he followed the Grichuk playbook with an RBI single through the right side. Precision Andrew Chafin has been little in evidence so far this season. Beau Brieske came on for his first appearance of the year, and quickly retired Suárez on a fly ball to Matt Vierling in center field to end the inning. 8-3 Tigers.

RHP Bryce Jarvis took over in the top of the ninth. He got Urshela to ground out, but Colt Keith drew a walk. Torkelson flew out to the warning track in straightaway center field, and that left it up to Báez. El Mago came through again, hooking a single to left field to put two on for Carson Kelly. Jarvis nearly hit the Tigers’ catcher in the head with a fastball, as Kelly just got his shoulder up and head out of the way of that heatseeker. The bases were juiced for Riley Greene, but he struck out to end the inning.

Brieske punched out Moreno to start the bottom of the ninth. The right-hander showed some good changeups to go with a quality fastball. McCarthy got a fastball and smoked it to center field, but Vierling made a leaping catch at the wall to haul it in, and Kevin Newman popped out to end it. No save for Brieske, but a good outing to settle into major league action again.

RHP Matt Manning will take on LHP Jordan Montgomery at 4:10 p.m. ET on Sunday as the 23-22 Tigers hunt for the sweep.

Box Score

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