Detroit Tigers lose to Reds in extras
By Matt St Jean
A highly anticipated battle between Aces was cut short by rain Wednesday Night. The game itself, however, was anything but. Extra innings along with a lengthy rain delay had fans tuning in early into Thursday Morning, only for Todd Frazier to send Detroit Tigers fans to bed with nightmares.
As rumors swirl around Detroit that Johnny Cueto may be headed north to Detroit, The Great American Ballpark was loaded with Tigers fans Wednesday, as “Let’s go Tigers” chants could be heard loud and clear all night long. Tigers Ace David Price was called upon for Detroit, as the two highly sought future unrestricted free agents went to battle.
Price was solid for the Tigers, but nothing special. He gave up his first of two runs in the second inning, as ex-Tiger Eugenio Suarez used a sacrifice bunt to make it 1-0 Cincinnati. The following inning Todd Frazier hit his third home run of the series to put the Reds up 2-0. Prices final numbers were 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K.
It unfortunately didnt last as long as most would have liked, however Tigers fans got a good taste of just how dominating Cueto could be on their roster. At one point, Cueto retired thirteen consecutive batters and looked like he wasnt going to be slowing down. But, when facing the best hitter in baseball, things can change in the drop of a… rain drop.
After a single and walk to put two runners on base, Miguel Cabrera came up to bat as a light rain began to sprinkle over the ballpark. Cueto threw an inside fastball to Miguel, who drove it straight into the right field seats, giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead. As soon as Miguel touched home, the tarps came out and a rain delay was called. It would also end Cuetos night. His final numbers were 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K’s.
After a one hour and fourteen minute rain delay, Alex Wilson came out in replace of Price for the sixth inning. Wilson promptly gave up a game tying triple, but managed to get out of the inning and calm down for a smooth seventh inning.
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Then in the top of the eight, Tyler Collins hit his second career pinch hit home run off Reds reliever Ryan Mattheus to make the score 4-3.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Jay Bruce hit a deep ball off Joba Chamberlain to left, that looked like it was going to tie the game. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes slightly mistimed the catch, and trapped the ball against the wall for a Bruce double. The next batter was catcher Brayan Pena, who hit what should of been an easy play for Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias to end the inning. Instead, the ball hit the the bag at second, and bounced into right field for Pena’s third single of the evening, tying the game at four.
Next up was Joey Votto, who singled into right center to put Pena at third, ending the day for Chamberlain. He was replaced by Blaine Hardy, who struck out Skip Shumaker on a controversial strike three call to end the eighth.
Cespedes faced off against his Cuban counterpart, Aroldis Chapman, for the first time on U.S. soil to start the ninth. Chapman got the better of Cespedes on just four pitches, half of which were in triple digits. It was a quck 1-2-3 inning for Chapman, and his night was done.
In the bottom of the tenth things got interesting for the Tigers. After easily getting the first two outs, reliever Al Alburquerque gave up a single to Bruce, giving Brayan Pena yet another chance to do some damage to Detroit. Sure enough, he did his best and almost ended the game. Pena lined a shot down the right field line, and Bruce took off. JD Martinez cleanly fielded the ball and relayed to Ian Kinsler, who turned and fired to catcher James McCann to get Bruce by about a half second at home to end the inning.
In the bottom of the thirteenth with the bases loaded, it was Fraziers turn again. Frazier hit a walk off grand slam to left center, winning the game for the Reds 8-4. Frazier now has 22 on the season. Taking the loss for Detroit was Ian Krol.
Later Tonight, the Tigers finish their home and home series in Cincinnati, as Justin Verlander makes his second start of the season against Mike Leake. Leake is 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA so far this season, and Verlander has a 3.60 ERA after his no decision start against Cleveland last weekend.