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Tigers 5, Marlins 6: A warm welcome for Miggy in Miami

Unfortunately the Tigers didn’t win.

Detroit Tigers v. Miami Marlins Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

So, as it turns out, while folks have been busy paying attention to the Braves, the Marlins have quietly been pretty good in the AL East. I say this only because the Marlins have perennially been a team predicted to end up at the bottom of their division, and when the Tigers rolled into tonight, it was very apparent just how different third place in a division can look when you’re outside the AL Central.

The Tigers did manage to make it close, though.

The pitching matchup was Reese Olson versus Braxton Garrett.

Garrett allowed a one-out single to Riley Greene to start the first, but the Tigers would have to settle for one baserunner. The Marlins scored early against Olson with Luis Arraez singling to start the inning, then a Bryan De La Cruz home run scored two, putting the Marlins on the board.

In the top of the second, Javier Baez got a one-out walk, then stole second base, because that’s what he does. Miguel Cabrera was hit by a pitch to put two on, but a double-play ended the inning before they could score. Bottom of the inning saw the Marlins once again take advantage of Olson. Jon Berti doubled to lead things off, then Joey Wendle safely reached first thanks to an error from Andy Ibanez, this also allowed Berti to land safely on third. A Jean Segura single then scored Berti.

In the third, Zack Short and Matt Vierling got back-to-back singles, but a double play and strikeout ended the inning without the Tigers scoring. Olson allowed a single to Jorge Soler to start the bottom half of the third. Then a De La Cruz double scored Soler.

The Tigers finally bit back in the fourth. With two outs, Baez singled, and then Cabrera reached base on a Segura fielding error. Baez was on absolute wheels and managed to go first to home on the error, scoring the Tigers’ first run of the game. In the bottom half a Nick Fortes sinlge and an Arraez single were the only Marlins baserunners and they scored no additional runs.

In the top half of the fifth, Vierling was the only Tigers’ baserunner. In the bottom, Olson finally had a 1-2-3 inning.

As the game went into the sixth both teams were still using their starters. Kerry Carpenter was hit by a pitch but didn’t get a chance to score, and then Olson had another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half. That was it for Olson, who finished the night with 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR on 88 pitches. Not ideal and we’ve definitely seen better from him this season.

In the seventh, Nick Maton reached on a single, and then stole second. He was initially called out, but on the replay the Tigers won their challenge, and they would soon be happy they did. Riley Greene walked, and then a Spencer Torkelson single brought Maton home. Jose Cisnero came out of the bullpen for the Tigers and gave up a double to Arraez, but that feels unavoidable this season. No Marlins runs scored and the Tigers ended the inning sitting 4-2, a little closer to tying it up.

Baez singled in the eighth, Zach McKinstry, pinch-hitting for Jake Rogers, walked to put two men on with two outs. A Nick Maton double came in clutch, scoring Baez and McKinstry and tying the game.

Jason Foley was next out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth, hoping to keep things tied and give the Tigers a chance in the ninth. That did not happen. Jesus Sanchez and Yuli Gurriel reached on back-to-back singles, Hampson came in to pinch run for Sanchez, and then a Berti single scored Hampson. A Wendle sacrifice turned into a double play, but Gurriel still scored, and the Marlins were up by two runs again.

In the top of the ninth the Tigers made a solid effort of their last chance. Torkelson got a one-out double, then an Ibanez single scored Torkelson. The Tigers would have to settle for that one extra run though, as the Marlins shut them down and walked off with the win.

Final: Marlins 6, Tigers 5