DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers could do little against the Milwaukee Brewers for the first 25 innings of the three-game series. Nick Castellanos' eighth inning hit changed that in an instant, and the Tigers won 5-2 over the Brewers, avoiding being swept at home for what would have been the first time this season.
Loading the bases with no outs has, in the past, led to a multitude of runs for the Tigers. Not so, as of late. Scraping out one run with the bases loaded and nothing more, and wasting a two-on opportunity the following inning, has not been a recipe for success. And it wasn't yet again when the Tigers initially tried it Wednesday night.
But Cespedes, who has been quiet at the plate, finally broke out of a mini slump, getting a three-hit day at the plate and scoring the first run of the game. J.D. Martinez, owner of an 11-game hitting streak since his 0-for-25 skid, got the first hit of the night in the second and later scored the second run of the game in the fourth.
But the hit of the night went to Castellanos. Facing a two-out, bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth, Castellanos saw six pitches before nailing the seventh for a bases-clearing triple. While Castellanos would not score from third, it charged the bench and finally gave them something to cheer about ... and honestly, something the fans needed to see just as badly.
Shane Greene made his first start since being removed mid-game on May 15 with mild ulnar neuritis. He gave the Tigers a strong outing, allowing just one home run before being pulled in the seventh after allowing a one-out walk. Angel Nesbitt, who has been solid in the late innings, gave up two hits that brought the walk home, but neither were hit hard by any measure. Ironically, the one hard-hit ball of the seventh ended up as a 6-5 inning-ending lineout.
Joba Chamberlain, while not solid, has been at least getting the job done, and it appears manager Brad Ausmus has been watching him closely. After Chamberlain nearly tackled Brewers' Carlos Gomez for the first out at first base, retiring the second batter on three pitches, Ausmus pulled Chamberlain when he gave up a two-out walk. Blaine Hardy struck out the last batter. Joakim Soria closed it out without giving up a run despite a leadoff double, earning his 13th save of the season.
Nick Castellanos: Went 2-for-4 and drove in four of the five runs Wednesday night, his second hit being a triple.
Yoenis Cespedes: Broke out of an 0-for-9 slump with a 3-for-3 day, including a double and scoring two runs and a walk.
Shane Greene: Gave the Tigers a solid start, going 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball, allowing just three hits and walking two. A solo home run early in the game was all he allowed until a one-out walk in the seventh ended his night. That walk came around to score.
The bullpen/defense: The two things that have been stellar, for the majority of the season. This could have been a completely different outcome were it not for both of their contributing efforts.
Taking the night off, although the offense gets a nod for stinking through the first seven innings.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Yoenis Cespedes ended an 0-for-9 skid with a ground-rule double in the second inning. It was also his first extra-base hit since May 15 at St. Louis against the Cardinals.
- Cespedes stole third base following his double, his second stolen base of the season. Both stolen bases have been of third, and he was 6-for-7 stealing third base last year and 1-for-2 stealing second.
- J.D. Martinez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff single in the fourth inning.
- Ian Kinsler hit the 300th double of his career in the fifth inning with two outs.
- Wednesday night marked the second four-RBI game of Nick Castellanos' career. His first occurred on August 30, 2014 against the Chicago White Sox.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: