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The Price is Right

Normally moving David Price’s start back a day would put fans in a tiff, but on August 16th in Detroit, it turned out to be a major blessing.

The billing of David Price vs. Felix Hernandez was enough to put 43,833 fans in Comerica Park, the largest non-opening day crowd of the 2014 season, and the Tigers refused to disappoint, stealing a 4-2 victory from the streaking Mariners.

Possibly the most surprising detail of all, the Tigers showed signs of life against King Felix, who they tagged with his fourth loss of the year and first career against Detroit. Nick Castellanos ripped his 10th homerun of the season in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead, and though the Tigers only nailed him for those two runs, they chased him after just five innings of work.

A hard hit ball found Hernandez’s leg at the end of the fifth inning. Hernandez was able to record the final out, but limped off the field and didn’t return.

The Tigers had him at 69 pitches after just three innings, which was an encouraging sign in terms of their approach at the plate. They chased him with 92 pitches through 5.0 innings.

JD Martinez and Castellanos cashed in a Cabrera double and Victor Martinez walk in a seventh inning rally to push the Tigers up 4-1.

Price was magnificent in nearly every respect in his Comerica Park debut as a Tiger. The lefthander went 8.0 innings of one-run baseball, walking three and striking out seven in the process.

Price loaded the bases with one out in the eighth frame, and received a visit from Brad Ausmus. Though it appeared Price’s night was over with the Tigers up 4-1. Ausmus received a stare in the eyes from Price, who was thoroughly determined to stay in the game. Price struck out Austin Jackson (Now 1-9 in his return series to Detroit) and induced a groundout to escape the inning.

Enter Joe Nathan….

Nathan walked Robinson Cano, and Kendrys Morales followed with a groundout into an overshift put Cano on third base with no one covering third. Endy Chavez singled softly to centerfield scoring Cano to make it 4-2. Nathan induced a groundball double play to end the game.

Prior to the game, it was Victor Martinez who gathered the Tigers in the dugout, and very visibly proceeded to amp up the Tigers, almost willing them to feel the importance of the game. The Tigers are again showing signs of life, and taking down Felix Hernandez to take back the second AL Wildcard Spot, and pull within a half game of the Royals could be the boost the Tigers needed.

The Tigers also demoted Melvin Mercedes and called up Jim Johnson from Toledo after the game.

The Tigers will see Chris Young take on Robbie Ray in the rubber match at 1:08 p.m. The 6’10” Young is 5-2 with a 2.93 ERA in his last ten outings.

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