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Marlins 5, Tigers 4: Rally falls short as Tigers lose their seventh straight game

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At least they forced extra innings this time?

Miami Marlins v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers saw their losing streak stretch to seven games (officially) on Tuesday, as they lost a 5-4 decision to the Miami Marlins in 11 innings at Comerica Park. Catcher Chad Wallach drove in Miguel Rojas in the top of the 11th for the Marlins’ game-winning run.

The Marlins jumped on Spencer Turnbull early, with three hits and a run in the top of the first inning. Curtis Granderson singled just two pitches into the game, and moved from first to third on a seeing-eye single from right fielder Garrett Cooper. Brian Anderson scored Granderson via a sacrifice fly to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. Turnbull allowed another sharp single in the inning, but escaped the jam when Jorge Alfaro lined out sharply to right.

Miami doubled their lead in the second with more sharp contact against a not-so-sharp Turnbull. Rookie Harold Ramirez singled up the middle to lead off the inning, and scored when catcher Chad Wallach hit a double to the right-center field wall. Turnbull then walked Granderson, putting himself into another jam, but escaped when Cooper hit into an inning-ending double play.

The Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the third thanks to JaCoby Jones, who hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to right field. Ramirez answered in the top of the fourth with an opposite field shot of his own, the first homer of his MLB career.

Detroit cut the Marlins’ lead in half again in the bottom of the fourth. Nicholas Castellanos doubled to left with one out, and advanced to third base on a wild pitch by Marlins starter Caleb Smith. Miguel Cabrera battled his way to a full count, and ended a seven-pitch at-bat by lining a pitch to left to score Castellanos, cutting Miami’s lead to 3-2.

Things got more fun after that — both starters turned the game over to awful bullpens after just five innings apiece — but it took a little while. Brian Anderson homered off lefthander Nick Ramirez in the top of the seventh to stretch the lead to 4-2, Marlins.

The Tigers didn’t manage a single hit against Miami’s middle relief corps, but engineered a comeback against closer Sergio Romo and the Marlins defense in the ninth. Niko Goodrum reached base on an infield single, then advanced to second when Starlin Castro couldn’t handle a wide throw from Brian Anderson. Goodrum then came around to score after a Cabrera grounder glanced off of Anderson’s glove, bringing the Tigers within one. Castellanos, who had gone from first to third on Cabrera’s single, scored on a sacrifice fly that came out of left fielder Harold Ramirez’s glove, but just after he had established control of the ball (imagine that, a catch rule that makes sense).

The Tigers couldn’t plate a third run in the ninth, though, and the bats fell quiet again from there. After Shane Greene pitched a 1-2-3 10th, Wallach doubled off the left-center wall in the 11th — his second 400-plus foot double of the night — to score Rojas, and Marlins reliever Brian Anderson worked a scoreless bottom half of the inning to close out the game.

The Good

Also, a Tigers fan bought Curtis Granderson some popcorn.

The Bad

Everything else.

The Ugly

The Tigers struck out 15 times against Marlins pitching in this game. It was the 18th time this season they have fanned at least 11 times as a club, tied for the second-most among MLB teams. They have struck out 11 or more times in nearly 40 percent of their games played in 2019.