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Reds 6, Tigers 5: Reds walk off squeeze bunt continues Tigers' downward spiral

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Final - 6.8.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 5 9 1
Cincinnati Reds 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 15 1
WP: Sam LeCure (2 - 1)
LP: Phil Coke (1 - 2)

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The Cincinnati Reds came from behind to take down the Detroit Tigers 6-5 in 10 innings. Wilson Valdez's squeeze bunt brought home Miguel Cairo with the winning run in extra innings. The Reds' Sam LeCure (2-1) tossed 2 scoreless innings for the win. Phil Coke (1-2) took the hard luck loss for the Tigers.

The Toledo Mud Hens' Northern Auxiliary started the game off as they have for much of the past 2 months. Badly. Red Reds took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a legit single, a pair of infield hits and some iffy defense from starter Rick Porcello.

Things went from bad to worse in the 3rd. Joey Votto crushed a Porcello pitch far over the center field wall for a 3 run home run and a 4-0 lead.

The Tigers gradually clawed back into the game. The resurrection of Brennan Boesch continued with a solo home run getting the Tigers on the board in the 3rd. Miguel Cabrera added a 2 RBI single in the 6th to bring the Tigers to within 1 run at 4-3. Boesch tied the game at 4-4 in the 7th with a single, his 3rd straight hit.

In the 8th, Delmon Young went from 0-3 goat to 1-4 hero, smashing a 441 foot solo home run to deep left, giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead. But the lead wasn't to last, thanks to some interesting decision making in regard to the bullpen.

Cairo led off the 8th with a single, and as is the NL way, was sacrificed to 2nd. That was enough for Jim Leyland to pull Duane Below. But he didn't bring in Octavio Dotel from the bullpen. Is Dotel injured? It begs the question, as there is no other reason why Leyland would give rookie Jose Ortega his major league debut in the 8th inning of a 1 run game with a runner in scoring position. By the way, this is the same Ortega who had a 1.897 WHIP and 29 BB in 29 IP with Toledo.

(After the game, Leyland did admit Dotel is hurt, Joaquin Benoit still isn't ready and he really didn't want to use Coke, but circumstances forced it.)

As expected, the decision to use the rookie blew up in Leyland's face, Ortega allowing a game tying double to pinch hitter Todd Frazier. Given the choice of Ortega or leaving Below in the game, I would have rolled the dice with the lefty, but I'm not a highly paid big league manager..Coke was called upon to bail out Ortega, getting Votto to strike out swinging.

As the game went into extras, Leyland rode Coke through the 9th and into the 10th.Turned out, that was 1 inning too long. Budding Tiger Killer Cairo led off bottom of the 10th with a line double into the right field corner. Recently called up Matt Young was in right, and managed to stumble around on the warning track, playing the double into a triple. With Cairo on 3rd, you didn't need to be brain surgeon or a big league manager to see the squeeze coming.

And with 1 out, Valdez laid down a perfect pinch hit safety squeeze for the win.

When you're short handed, you're damned no matter what you do. The bullpen is decimated by injuries, and the outfield is dominated with Mud Hens. But let the second guessing of Jim Leyland begin post haste.

So will the calls for his head on a platter.


Miguel Cabrera: The big man started a big 5th inning double play with a backhanded stab, and got the Tigers back into the game with his 2 RBI single in the 6th.

Brennan Boesch: Supplied most of the offense with 3 hits, a home run and 2 RBI. The reports of Boesch's death as a ballplayer have been greatly exaggerated.

Delmon Young: I was all set to give Young a hiss, even had my snarky comment ready to go - "One of these days maybe someone will explain the concept of the strike zone to Young". Then the much maligned Young has to go and mash a long 8th inning home run to give the Tigers the lead! Damn you Delmon for making a blogger work harder!


Quintin Berry: An 0-4 night as the lead off man. His play was too good to be true. Berry is now regressing to the player he really is, a backup outfielder.

Jose Ortega: Was thrown into the fire by Leyland. He didn't put it out, but did blow up in spectacular fashion.

Rick Porcello: 9 hits, 2 walks, 4 runs and bad defense? Here's your hiss!


National League baseball: The Tigers having their pitcher sacrifice bunting in the 3rd inning shows just highlights the ridiculousness of interleague play and how snooze inducing NL style baseball tends to be. Pitchers bunting is always preferable to seeing legitimate hitters, right?


Miguel Cabrera's 2 run home run was enough to give him another PotG victory with 46%.