Tigers survive late surge from Mets on ‘Fiesta Tigres’ night with 6-5 victory

The Detroit Tigers looked to stay white hot on Saturday in game two of this three-game weekend series against the New York Mets. Another win would have made it four straight series victories and wins in ten of their last eleven games overall.

Detroit was giving the ball to left Matt Boyd (2-2, 4.71 ERA), who posted a very solid 2.21 ERA in four July starts. The Mets were countering with Logan Verrett (4.20 ERA in 28 GMs, 10 starts). He’s turned in some admirable and quality outings for manager Terry Collins since being pressed into duty with injuries to the rotation.


Boyd was able to work around a one-out walk and single in the top half of the 1st, but managed to wiggle out a jam with runners on the corners, getting a pop out and ground out.

In the home half, Tyler Collins walked with one out. Miguel Cabrera doubled deep to left field and Collins got on his horse on scored from first, giving the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.

Both teams were quiet in the 2nd inning. The Mets stranded a two-out base on balls, while the Tigers led off the inning with a walk of their own from Nick Castellanos, but that was erased in the next at-bat on a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Justin Upton. Boyd struck out a pair of batters in that frame

New York went down in order in the 3rd on three fly ball outs. It seemed like a promising inning for Detroit in the bottom half after an infield single from Jose Iglesias. However, he was caught stealing in the next at-bat. Then Collins tripled to right center with two outs but the Tigers could not bring him in.



The Mets finally got on the board in the top of the 4th. The newest Met, former Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, led off the inning by driving one over the wall in deep right center, knotting it up at 1-1. Wilmer Flores singled after that homer, but nothing doing. Boyd recorded a pair of punch outs, upping his total to four at this point.

Detroit answered in a big way in the home half. They loaded the bases up with nobody out after a double from Victor Martínez, a single from J.D. Martinez and Castellanos was hit by a pitch. Two batters later with one out, it was Jarrod Saltalamacchia singling to right for a two-run single, re-claiming the lead for the Tigers, 3-1. Two ABs later with two down now, it was Ian Kinsler singling to left and scoring Castellanos, making it 4-1. That signaled the end for the Mets’ starter Verrett.

Jonathon Niese came in to relieve Verrett. After allowing an infield single to Collins to reload the bases, Cabrera came up and singled to right, plating two more and making it 6-1. Those two runs officially closed the book on Verrett as ten make came to the plate in the 4th for the Tigers

(Final line on L. Verrett: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)

To start the 5th inning, Mike Aviles entered the game at third base in place of Castellanos, who left the game with a non-displaced fracture in his left hand. The Mets got to Boyd chipped into that five-run lead right away the next half inning. Former Tiger Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer to left, making it a 6-2 ball game.

Then with runners on first and second with one out following the Granderson homer, Bruce nearly grounded into a slick 5-4-3 double play but he Cabrera could not scoop it cleanly at first, went down as a fielder’s choice. The next batter, it was Flores singling to right allowing the runner from third to score, cutting the Mets deficit to three runs.

The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the home half of the 5th inning, still facing Niese. The Tigers starter Boyd was done after five innings and 104 pitches.

(Final line on M. Boyd: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 solo HR)

Detroit Tigers forced to promote power-hitting outfielder

Alex Wilson came in to relieve Boyd in the 6th. After allowing a pair of singles to lead off the inning, Wilson induced a 6-4-3 double play and then got Granderson to roll one to second to end the threat.

Niese was back out there for the 6th inning. He surrendered a two-out double to Kinsler and issued a walk to Collins, the fourth time he reached base safely tonight. He would however get Cabrera to fly out deep down the right field line and end the inning.



Alex Wilson’s law firm partner Justin Wilson came on to pitch the 7th inning. Like his righty counterpart, Justin allowed a pair of singles to lead off the inning. He got Jay Bruce to roll one to Cabrera at first. However, Cabrera’s throw to second hit the base runner Neil Walker and trickled away, allowing the lead runner to score and make it 6-4.

The next batter, Flores hit one to the third baseman Aviles, who botched it and everybody was safe. Walker came home to score, making it 6-5. Justin Wilson then got the much-needed double play in the next at-bat from Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, followed by a 4-3 putout to get out of the messy inning. Only one of the two runs charged to J. Wilson were earned.

After solid work from Niese, the Mets turned to a new reliever in Hansel Robles. He was able to work around a one-out walk to J.D. Martinez and escape the inning unharmed.

Shane Greene came into the game in the 8th inning for Detroit. He allowed a one-out single to pinch hitter James Loney but then got Granderson to ground into a 3-unassisted double play. Robles came out for a second inning of work and pitched a 1-2-3 8th.

Hanging on to a one-run lead, Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez came on in hopes of his 32nd save of the season in 34 tries. He needed to get through the meat of the Mets lineup. It was not pretty, he allowed a pair of singles with two outs. Then with d’Arnaud up, he singled to right and Bruce rounded third and headed home.

But J.D. Martinez with arguably the throw of the year and a good catch and block from Saltalamacchia to gun down Bruce, ending the inning and the game, preserving a 6-5 victory for the Tigers.

I guess that throwing arm is okay.



These same two teams wrap up their three-game series on Sunday, also concluding the nine-game homestand for the Tigers. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. ET.

Detroit will give the ball to Aníbal Sánchez (6-11, 6.26 ERA), who allowed just one ER over six innings his last time out against the White Sox on August 2. The Tigers will have another tough customer when the Mets turn to Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.41 ERA). deGrom has allowed two ER or fewers in six of his last seven starts (1.54 ERA in that stretch).

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