The Tigers suffered their first defeat of the season today, falling just short in a comeback attempt against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After being swept in their first series of the season, the Pirates have now won three of their last four games. Meanwhile, the Tigers are still just one victory away from a winning road trip, and their six wins have all been against division opponents.
J.D. Martinez nearly brought the Tigers back from defeat, homering in the ninth inning to cut the deficit to 5-4. The home run was Martinez's fourth on the year, and his third to the opposite field. Martinez also walked in the seventh inning, helping create a base loaded, no-out situation that the Tigers eventually squandered.
Yoenis Cespedes had the highest win probability added (WPA) of any Tiger today thanks to a pair of base hits in clutch situations. His single in the seventh inning loaded the bases with no outs. Cespedes also singled in the ninth inning, representing the tying run. The Tigers were unable to score him from first base with no outs, resulting in their first loss of the year.
Miguel Cabrera didn't homer today, but his RBI double in the ninth inning kicked off a rally against Pirates closer Mark Melancon. Cabrera also added a single in the seventh inning, and scored both times he reached base. Not satisfied with just his offensive output, Cabrera also made a nice defensive play, throwing out Gregory Polanco in the third inning to keep the score at 2-0.
Ian Krol threw a scoreless eighth inning and retired two of the three right-handed batters he faced. The third was Andrew McCutchen, who has made plenty of pitchers look silly. Krol has a 3.86 ERA on the season.
Miguel Cabrera took home Player of the Game honors on Sunday with two home runs and four hits, an exclamation point on top of a scorching series against the Cleveland Indians. Cabrera was a triple shy of the cycle and reached base five times. He received 97 percent of yesterday's vote, or 492 of the 509 ballots.