The Detroit Tigers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Tuesday, blowing a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning en route to a 6-5 loss in 15 long, grueling innings to the Seattle Mariners.
The Tigers got to Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc early. Ian Kinsler lined LeBlanc’s first pitch into left field for a double, and Jose Iglesias followed with a single. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez both poked RBI singles into left, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Two innings later, Cabrera added to his RBI tally with a solo home run to left field.
Tigers starter Daniel Norris went unscathed through his first three innings, but Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz delivered a Mariners run in the fourth. Cano doubled down the left field line after falling behind in the count, and Cruz drove him in with a triple off the right field wall that was just out of J.D. Martinez’s leaping reach. However, Norris was able to buckle down and retire Dae-ho Lee, Kyle Seager, and Chris Iannetta in order to strand Cruz at third.
J.D. Martinez added a run to the Tigers’ total in the fifth with a solo homer of his own, his 14th of the season. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Norris allowed three hits before recording an out, and was replaced by Alex Wilson. While Wilson’s ability to strand runners has been questioned many times over since his arrival in Detroit, he deftly navigated out of a bases loaded, no out jam to preserve the 4-1 lead.
After Kyle Ryan retired the side in order in the seventh, the Tigers looked poised to cruise to their 62nd win of the season. Justin Wilson had other ideas, though. Wilson had a runner on first with two outs, but allowed a double down the left field line from lefty Adam Lind to extend the inning. Wilson’s first pitch to Kyle Seager was straight down the middle of the plate, and Seager promptly deposited it into the right field seats to tie the game.
Following Seager’s home run, the two teams put up zeroes for the next six innings. The Tigers loaded the bases and came away empty in the 14th, but neither team really threatened much otherwise. Victor Martinez broke the tie in the top of the 15th with a solo home run, but closer Francisco Rodriguez coughed up the lead again, allowing two runs in the bottom of the 15th.
Miguel Cabrera: The Tigers’ slugger hit his 26th home run of the season, already his highest total since 2013. Cabrera had three hits and a walk in total, and drove in two of the Tigers’ five runs.
Alex Wilson: Prior to Tuesday’s game, Wilson had allowed 45 percent of inherited runners to score this season. He bucked the statistical trend in this game, wiggling out of a bases loaded jam to maintain the Tigers’ three-run lead.
Blaine Hardy: Five strikeouts and just two hits allowed in three scoreless innings out of relief.
Victor Martinez: That homer in the 15th inning should have been enough.
Justin Upton: Eight of the Tigers’ nine starters had a hit in this game. Upton went 0-for-7.
Justin Wilson: Kyle Seager’s game-tying three-run homer occurred at 12:49 a.m. ET. You are costing us sleep, Justin Wilson.
Francisco Rodriguez: Yeah.
West coast baseball: It is late and I am tired.
STATS AND INFO:
- Kyle Seager’s home run was the first homer Justin Wilson has allowed to a left-handed hitter this season (h/t @matthewbmowery)
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: