DETROIT — Mike Pelfrey’s fifth poor outing in six starts put the Detroit Tigers in an early hole again. The Tigers battled back, though, and Justin Upton walked it off with his second home run of the night, handing the Tigers an 8-7 win over the Seattle Mariners in 12 innings.
Once again, Pelfrey put forth a predictably awful start. Flickering hopes of a quiet night in the first were unceremoniously smashed in the second, and again in the fifth. Regardless of the effort, his results were gruesome. The only positives in the game came off the bats of the Tigers’ offense, which ultimately dictated the difference in the outcome.
Cabrera wasted no time in obliterating his 15th home run of the season, giving Detroit a quick 2-0 lead in the first. Possibly for the first time ever in Comerica Park history, a home run ball left the stadium. Literally. But those feelings of elation became despair with Pelfrey’s four-run second. Despite tacking on a run in the second and two in the fourth, a comfortable lead was not meant to be.
To speak nothing of the nonexistent control Pelfrey possesses, he got bit by the long ball twice. Once in the second, which gave the Mariners their 4-2 lead, then when he gifted a ball over the heart of the plate to Adam Lind in the fifth. Both crushed, putting the Tigers in another hole, and he gave up 12 hits as the cherry on top.
By some miracle not of Pelfrey’s creation, Detroit kept the deficit within one run until they retook the lead on a two-run homer by Justin Upton to center. Nevertheless, a defensive replacement blunder by Mike Aviles in the eighth tied the game, forcing extras. But it was Upton, who hit his second homer of the game for a walk-off win.
Miguel Cabrera: Destroyed a home run that one-hopped the left-center walkway beyond the brick wall, and out of Comerica Park.
Cameron Maybin: Walked in the first, grounded into a double play that drove in the second run in the second, and hit a two-run triple in the fourth.
Bullpen: Kyle Ryan dealt with a two-on threat in the sixth — partly due to Iglesias’ error — but he struck out the next two batters and put up a clean seventh. Justin Wilson pitched a solid eighth, and Francisco Rodriguez blew the Mariners away in the ninth, to include two strikeouts (one of Nelson Cruz). Also, Alex Wilson pitched two solid innings, and Anibal Sanchez is looking dependable again.
Justin Upton: Blasted a two-run to dead center in the seventh, giving the Tigers a 7-6 lead at the time. He also hit the game-winning homer.
Mike Pelfrey: Went five innings and gave up six runs on 12 (!) hits in that time, including two home runs. As usual, he put the Tigers into repeated ditches with his awful command, and worked at a glacial pace that would put Brad Penny to shame.
Mike Aviles, assist to Brad Ausmus: The defensive replacement in right for Steven Moya played like a drunk skunk, and a run scored because of it. Moya may not be the best outfielder, but it would take a unique fumble for him to make the non-play that Aviles did. But then, he’s an infielder, and for that decision, Ausmus receives the assist for opting to go to him over Romine. Or, well, anyone else.
STATS AND INFO:
- Miguel Cabrera’s home run in the first inning marked his 15th of the season, which now leads the Tigers (Ian Kinsler has 14). It was hit an estimated 461 feet and left his bat at 108.9 mph, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It’s the longest-hit homer at Comerica Park this year, and seventh-longest hit in the last five seasons.
- Cabrera’s home run was the 423rd of his career, which tied him with Adrian Beltre for 49th in MLB history.
- Cabrera’s home run left Comerica Park and went onto Adams Street. No, seriously.
- Justin Upton’s home run in the seventh marked his seventh of the year, and gave him a 10-game hitting streak. His walk-off home was the fourth of his career, his last occurring on Aug. 16, 2013 against the Nationals.
- Upton’s two homers gave him the 11th multi-homer game of his career, the last which came on Aug. 26, 2015.
- Since June 1, Jose Iglesias is batting .333/.405/.455 with a home run and five doubles, including his two hits on Monday night.
- Alex Wilson has pitched in six of last 10 games. His only runs allowed were two on June 18 in blowout loss to the Royals. After two days of rest, he gave Detroit two clean innings.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: