Bullpen Dooms Tigers Again in 5-4 Loss to Diamondbacks


Jul 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher

Al Alburquerque

(62) pitches in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Tigers won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-4 in the second game of the three game series. Rick Porcello got the ball again looking for his AL leading 13th win, but he did not get it although he pitched well enough to get the victory. His final line was 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, but he did not receive the victory due to another bullpen meltdown.

Chase Anderson got the start for the Diamondbacks, and the Tigers greeted him by getting off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Austin Jackson started the game off with a single down the first base line, was moved up to 2nd on a hit and run fielder’s choice from Ian Kinsler, and scored on a Miguel Cabrera single to left.

The Diamondbacks returned the favor in the bottom half of the first when Aaron Hill took Rick Porcello deep to left tying the game at 1-1.

The two sides also traded runs in the 3rd. The Tigers top of the order struck again after Rick Porcello grounded out with the help of sloppy pitching. Jackson recorded his second hit of the game. Kinsler followed that with a bunt single to put runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Cabrera hit a groundball to third on a 3-2 pitch when both runners were stealing to stay out of the double play to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Victor Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases.

J.D. Martinez came to the plate and swung at a breaking ball in the dirt. The only reason that makes it into the game recap is because that breaking ball made it to the backstop as a wild pitch which scored Jackson to make it 2-2. Martinez then flew out to right to end the inning.

The Diamondbacks answered in the bottom half of the third with a triple by the leadoff batter, David Peralta and a sacrifice fly by Hill, for his 2nd RBI of the game.

The D-backs took the lead in the 6th with almost the identical sequence as in the 3rd. Peralta hit his 2nd triple of the game which was followed up by a groundout by Hill with the infield back to drive Peralta home for Hill’s third RBI of the game.

The Tigers then struck in the 8th off of Brad Ziegler (who I would still target at the trade deadline). Kinsler reached on a base hit to lead off the inning. Cabrera then singled on the first pitch to move Kinsler to 3rd. Kinsler was then thrown out at home on a ground ball to first from Victor Martinez to put runners on first and second. Don Kelly then pinch ran for Martinez. J.D. Martinez followed with an infield single off of Ziegler to load the bases. Torii Hunter then came to the plate and supplied another big hit for the Tigers, continuing his July hot stretch, and plated Cabrera and Kelly giving the Tigers a 4-3 lead. Porcello was pulled in this inning for Rajai Davis who struck out in what turned out to be the biggest decision of the night.

In the bottom half of the 8th, the Tigers bullpen that everyone but opponents fears appeared. Phil Coke came into the game without Joba Chamberlain available. He walked two batters with one out and was pulled for Al Alburquerque. Al Al retired Hill on a fly out, but walked Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases which led to his departure for Ian Krol to take on the lefty, Miguel Montero. Montero singled on an 0-2 fastball to drive in both of Coke’s walks to give the Diamondbacks a 5-4 lead. Corey Knebel then came out of the bullpen and got the final out of the inning.

Addison Reed came out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks in the 9th to close this one out. Austin Jackson flew out, Ian Kinsler popped out to third, Miguel Cabrera walked, and Don Kelly grounded out on a great play by Hill to end the game at the 5-4 final.

Wednesday at 3:40 is the final game of this 3 game series before the Tigers head to Anaheim to take on Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels. Before they head farther west, the Tigers will send out Anibal Sanchez who is 6-4 with a 3.22 ERA to take on Trevor Cahill who is 1-6 with a 5.63 ERA.