AJax, Avila and Miggy clutch as Detroit Tigers down Arizona Diamondbacks to win series


The Detroit Tigers needed to have a good series against one of baseball’s worst teams before playing one of the best teams. Despite dropping a winnable one in the middle game on Tuesday night, the Tigers regrouped to win the rubber match and claim the series. The team will takeoff for Anaheim tonight and face the Los Angeles Angels for the next four days.

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The Tigers, as they have in all three contests in the desert, scored first when Alex Avila brought home two on a double to make it 2-0. An error-prone fourth inning for the Diamondbacks seemingly put the game out of reach, however it would be a battle.

In that fourth inning, the Tigers received singles from Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Don Kelly to load the bases. Avila picked up his third RBI on the afternoon with a one-out sac fly. Andrew Romine appeared to hit into a double play, or at least a fielder’s choice, when Aaron Hill dropped the ball and recovered to throw Romine out, however the play was reversed on replay, reloading the bases. Austin Jackson, still raking in the leadoff spot, cleared the bases after the ball got behind Mark Trumbo, giving Detroit a 6-0 lead. He came around to score to make it 7-0.

Starter Anibal Sanchez had been pitching fairly well, but as he has done in many recent outings, he ran into a trouble inning–this time the fifth inning. A pair of Arizona doubles and a homer from Didi Gregorius brought them back into the game at 7-3 and they added single runs off Sanchez in the sixth and seventh. With a pair of runners on and one out in the seventh inning, Brad Ausmus elected to bring in Joba Chamberlain an inning early. The move would pay off as he induced a one-pitch double-play to end the threat and kept the score 7-5.

Sanchez’s final line was substandard, going 6 1/3 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits.

After allowing the D-Backs to score five unanswered runs, the Tigers struck back in the eighth with a two-out rally led by–who else–Jackson. He doubled and went to third on a Rajai Davis infield single and was brought home by an Ian Kinsler bloop base hit. With two on, Miggy stepped to the dish and worked the count full before drilling a three-run shot to left that went off the foul pole about halfway up.

It was Cabrera’s first homer (non-All-Star game) in July and just like that, the Tigers grabbed a six-run lead, 11-5.

Cabrera, Jackson, and Avila finished with three RBIs a piece. Every starter except for Romine and Sanchez recorded at least one hit. Blaine Hardy pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning.

Thursday’s matchup in Anaheim figures to be a doosey. Max Scherzer (11-3, 3.34) will face Garrett Richards (11-2, 2.47). Game time is 10:05.