The Detroit Tigers’ bats couldn’t get going for eight innings as the team looked like they were on their way to a second straight loss to the last-place Houston Astros, and would waste a gem from Max Scherzer.
Ian Kinsler didn’t want to hear any of that.
Kinsler’s 10th homer as a Detroit Tiger may have been his biggest as he laced a two-out, ninth inning shot deep to center field that cleared the fence, scoring Austin Jackson and Eugenio Suarez in front of him to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
The dramatics may not have happened had Astros’ manager Bo Porter stuck to the script. With the heart of the lineup due for the Tigers in the top of the eighth, Porter used his closer, Chad Qualls to face Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez. That worked out as Qualls set them down in order, but he elected not to send his closer back for a second inning of work in the ninth.
Instead, he turned to Jerome Williams and his ERA near 6 to attempt to close out the game. This seemingly woke up the slumbering Detroit bats as Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez singled. With two outs Kinsler provided the dramatics.
PLEASE NOTE MLB.COM SUCKS AND GIVES YOU AN EMBED CODE BUT IT DOESN’T FRICKIN’ WORK–JUST LIKE MLB.TV–NOT SURPRISING. IF THE BELOW EMBEDDED VIDEO DOESN’T WORK, CLICK HERE TO SEE KINSLER’S HOMER!!!
Though he didn’t figure in the decision, Scherzer was no longer on the hook for a loss, and had he taken a loss, it would have been criminal. He made one mistake on the day, allowing an Alex Presley single in the first that scored two runs. Max was lights out after that, boasting a final line of seven hits, two runs, and 13 strikeouts over seven innings.
Phil Coke has become a solid shutdown option in the bullpen–I know, RIGHT? He threw a 1-2-3 inning in relief of Scherzer in the eighth. Another day, another 9th inning run for Joe Nathan as he allowed Presley to lead the inning off with a solo shot, but retired the next three batters in order to record his 17th save.The Tigers will seek an exceptional 8-1 road trip with a win and series victory tomorrow.