|Final - 8.9.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||4||10||0|
|WP: Clay Rapada (3 - 0)
SV: Rafael Soriano (27)
LP: Joaquin Benoit (1 - 3)
Stories run top to bottom. That means I only get to choose one of the two big story lines to feature it atop this one. That's a tough decision to make. So I'll just take them in order. You can run them parallel in your head.
The Tigers led as late as the eighth inning. That they led at all seemed improbable given how they struggled against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. But they led. And then Joaquin Benoit happened. The Tigers reliever has not seen much action in recent weeks, leading some to question whether he was injured. In the past 14 days, he played in just two games, seeing nine plate appearances, allowing two home runs for his only two hits. Well, add two home runs to that total. He faced five batters, but back-to-back shots by Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez put Detroit in a hole. You have to be reminded of the three home runs allowed during a six-game span in July.
Then in the ninth inning, Detroit had a chance to come right back. Alex Avila doubled, and Omar Infante singled. That put runners on the corners with no outs. Officially: Ramon Santiago lined out. Quintin Berry popped out. Andy Dirks flied out. Game over. Two chances to get a run home with a good shot to the outfield, and the Tigers failed. As they say, the other team wants to win, too, and Yankees closer Rafael Soriano is pretty good. But to come 90 tantalizing feet from tying the game only a few minutes after blowing, that's got to sting a bit.
From Jason Beck on Twitter:
Leyland said signals crossed on Santiago AB. Wanted him to bunt Infante to 2nd, but not squeeze. Trying for win, bullpen was short.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 9, 2012
You can form your own opinions if anyone should have been called on to pinch hit. It's generally not an exercise I spend a lot of time on. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.
Doug Fister -- He did only allow two runs after all
Alex Avila - 2-run HR, double
Andy Dirks - 2 H, double, 2-out RBI to give Detroit a 3-2 lead
Omar Infante - 3 hit day. For his past 10 games, he has a .405 average, 2 HR and 2 triples, per Fox Sports Detroit
Game 111 POG
Jeff Baker made his Tigers debut in a big way to win the honors