Despite losing two consecutive games at home to open the series, the St. Louis Cardinals entered tonight's game with the best record in baseball. The Detroit Tigers missed a chance to sweep baseball's best team in their own ballpark, going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in a 2-1 loss.
The Tigers jumped on Cardinals starter Lance Lynn early, scoring a run in the top of the first. Ian Kinsler battled Lynn for nine pitches, then singled to right-center field. Miguel Cabrera followed up Kinsler's hit with a double to the wall, scoring Kinsler from first.
After James McCann threw out Kolten Wong to end the second inning, Alfredo Simon gave up a leadoff triple to center fielder Peter Bourjos to start the third. Bourjos came in to score on a sharp RBI single from Lynn, tying the game. The two starters traded scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth, dancing out of varying degrees of trouble along the way. Kolten Wong gave the Cardinals the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a long solo home run to right field.
After Simon worked out of yet another jam to end the inning, he was removed for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh. With James McCann on third base and two outs, Brad Ausmus used Victor Martinez as a pinch hitter, his first plate appearance of the series. Martinez popped out in foul territory to end the inning, leaving yet another runner stranded on base.
The Tigers squandered another chance to tie the game in the eighth. After walks to Kinsler and Cabrera chased Lynn from the game, J.D. Martinez grounded into a first-pitch double play to end the threat.
Yoenis Cespedes: He went 0-for-3 at the plate with a strikeout in a key situation, but Cespedes made a pair of excellent defensive plays to make up for it. Cespedes threw out Jhonny Peralta at the plate to end the seventh inning, preserving a one-run deficit for the Tigers.
Ian Kinsler: Two more hits for Kinsler, who also drew a walk. Despite reaching base three times in front of the heart of the order, Kinsler only scored one run.
Alfredo Simon: It wasn't pretty at times, but Simon gave the Tigers another solid performance with two runs allowed in six innings.
The offense: There were chances, but the Tigers did not score after the first inning. They were hitless with runners in scoring position.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Miguel Cabrera's RBI double in the top of the first was his 17th extra base hit of the year and his 30th RBI, tying him for the American League lead. It was his 1,399th RBI of his career.
- Ian Kinsler had a pair of hits, notching his 18th multi-hit game of the season. He has multiple hits in eight of his past 14 games.
- Yoenis Cespedes threw out Jhonny Peralta at the plate to end the seventh inning, notching his fourth outfield assist of the season. He leads all of baseball with 20 outfield assists since the start of 2014.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: