DETROIT -- Amnesia struck Alfredo Simon as he regressed to yet another rough start. While the offense rallied repeatedly, three run-scoring wild pitches by Simon were the difference that ultimately sunk the Detroit Tigers. In the end the Tigers lost 8-7 to the Los Angeles Angels in a game that was winnable.
Fresh off his one-hit shutout on Aug. 20, Simon imploded right off the bat. A walk, single, three-run homer, double, and a wild pitch gave the Angels a 4-0 lead without an out having been recorded. Then for the next two innings he retired 8-of-9 batters. That's as good as it got for Simon. He gave up two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth, recording just one out in the fifth before Tigers manager Brad Ausmus yanked Simon from the game.
Enter Drew VerHagen, who handed the Tigers bullpen a much needed stellar outing in relief. He allowed just one hit and a walk across 2 2/3 innings, striking out Angels catcher Carlos Perez. And as Simon had given up three runs on three wild pitches, keeping the game close was crucial. Blaine Hardy and Alex Wilson backed that up when, after Hardy gave up a leadoff single got the next two runners out before Wilson struck out Mike Trout to end the eighth with a runner on third.
The Tigers were being outhit by the Angels but despite Simon's night they were able to keep it a close game. Even starting with a four-run hole to start the game, the Tigers tied it in the third on Miguel Cabrera's three-run double and got another two runs from James McCann's two-run homer off of Angels starter Jered Weaver. In the seventh the Tigers were able to scratch out another run on Nick Castellanos' RBI single to score Cabrera, making it an 8-7 deficit in the eighth.
James McCann: Finished 2-for-5 for the night. He singled to leadoff the third, and blasted a two-run home run to left in the sixth, putting the Tigers within two of the Angels.
Miguel Cabrera: Smoked a bases-clearing double in the third, putting the Tigers within one of the Angels at the time. He later singled to start the seventh, and scored twice.
J.D. Martinez: Capped off the third with an RBI single to drive in Cabrera and tie the game 4-4 at the time. He later doubled to start the sixth and was driven in on McCann's homer. He also drew a walk in the seventh.
Drew VerHagen: Shielded the Tigers bullpen from the results of an implosion by putting up 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up just one walk and a hit, striking out a batter in that time to keep Detroit in the game.
Alfredo Simon: In 4 1/3 innings pitched he gave up eight runs on nine hits, walked four, struck out just two, allowed a home run, hit a batter, gave up two sac bunts, and had three wild pitches. All three WP scored a run. The only part of his final line that Simon did not give up: a balk.
STREAKS AND STATS
- Alfredo Simon is the first Tigers pitcher to give up three wild pitches and allow three runs in the same start since Rick Porcello did it on July 3, 2011 against the Giants. Porcello also hit three batters in that start, too.
- Miguel Cabrera's bases-clearing double in the third inning gave him a 10-game hitting streak.
- Since 1974, only two pitchers had given up three run-scoring wild pitches in a single game. Rob Bell on August 18, 2001, to the Blue Jays, and Sergio Santos (a reliever at the time) on April 17, 2014, to the Twins.
- Since 1974, there have been just 15 prior instances of a team having three (or more) run-scoring wild pitches in a single game. The most recent instance was the above referenced Blue Jays-Twins game on April 17, 2014.
- Miguel Cabrera has recorded multi-hit games in seven straight games.
- Cabrera's single in the eighth marked his first career hit off closer Huston Street. He had been 0-for-8 with a pair of strikeouts entering Tuesday night's game.
- Since returning from the DL on Aug. 14, Miguel Cabrera is batting .500/.577/.773 with nine doubles, nine RBI, and a home run in 52 plate appearances. He's scored 11 times.
- Cabrera has an MLB-leading .371 batting average and leads the AL with a .473 on-base percentage. He's tied with Nelson Cruz with a .604 slugging percentage for the AL lead and paces all AL hitters with 14 intentional walks.
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