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Tigers 7, Marlins 5: Monster 5th inning helps Detroit snap 3-game skid

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The offense showed up even though Pelfrey’s command was missing.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Despite another poor performance from Mike Pelfrey, the Tigers’ offense put up enough support to squeak out a win. Thanks to three home runs initiated by Jose Iglesias’ in the fifth, the Tigers won 7-5 over the Marlins in the first of a two-game series.

Early on it looked like Pelfrey was going to fall apart, and in the second inning he nearly did. But he regained enough command to last 5 1/3 innings while the offense went to work on the Marlins. He minimized the damage to three runs until he gave up back-to-back hits in the sixth, one of which came around to score.

The offense couldn’t touch Adam Conley for four innings. The only hits they had against him came in the second on a one-out triple by Nick Castellanos, and a two-out single in the third by Cameron Maybin. Eight of the first nine outs were strikeouts and Conley was unhittable ... until the fifth when the Tigers peppered Conley and forced him out of the game.

Detroit needed only three hits to take the lead, all of which were home runs. There were two more to get men on-base — giving both Miguel Cabrera and Castellanos multi-run homers — but either way the Tigers pounded Conley and his reliever.

With a lead, Bruce Rondon came out for an inning in relief of Pelfrey. It was his only strikeout, but Rondon fanned Giancarlo Stanton on an 89 mph pitch after consecutive 100-plus mph pitches to start the seventh. The remaining bullpen tested the limits of the warning track but kept it in the ballpark, and the Tigers in the lead.

ROARS:

Jose Iglesias: Hit a no-doubt two-run homer to left-center field in the fifth inning to put the Tigers on the board. He’d also made some web gem plays with his glove earlier in the game.

Miguel Cabrera: Blasted a three-run homer to left — on a changeup — giving the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

Nick Castellanos: Knocked a two-run homer to dead center for a 7-3 lead. He’d also tripled earlier in the game and later singled in the seventh on an infield hit. He finished a double shy of the cycle.

K-Rod: Francisco Rodriguez locked down the win for Detroit, striking out a batter and walking one for his 21st save of the year.

HISSES:

Justin Upton’s defense: Had a few awful misplays that in all honesty should’ve been errors, but mental lapses are special, so ...

6-8 batters: James McCann struck out four times, including twice in the fifth. Upton struck out once and left three batters on-base throughout the game, and Aviles struck out once and drew a walk. They were a combined 0-for-12.

Mike Pelfrey: Four runs on 12 hits and he didn’t last past one batter into the sixth. Once again, another poor performance.

STATS AND INFO:
  • Ian Kinsler’s double in the fifth marked his first extra-base hit since June 15. He had gone 48 at-bats without one.
  • Jose Iglesias’ home run in the fifth was his third this year, tying his career-high in a single season.
  • Miguel Cabrera’s home run against the Marlins was his 17th this year and the 425th in his career. He needs one more to tie Billy Williams at 48th in MLB history.
  • Nick Castellanos’ homer in the fifth was his 14th this year, putting him one home run shy of tying his career high.
  • Castellanos’ homer (433 feet) went further than Cabrera’s (424 feet).
  • James McCann struck out four times in the game for a career-first Golden Sombrero, including twice in the fifth alone.
  • The Marlins tallied 16 total hits on the night but they left 11 on-base and had only five runs. Twelve of those hits came against Pelfrey with some assistance by Upton’s bad fielding.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs