May 29, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Tigers' Rick Porcello walks on wild side in securing win

Oakland, Calif. — Six walks for Rick Porcello?

Rick (four walks previous high) Porcello?

Your eyes don’t betray you. Porcello (8-2) walked six, hit a batter, and admitted he was “all over the place” Thursday in a 5-4 victory over the A’s, a day after a gem by Anibal Sanchez ended with a nice game, but no decision for the Tigers starter.

“That’s how the game goes sometimes,” Porcello said. “I think every pitcher has had good starts where he didn’t come away with a win, and bad starts in which their team does a good job.

“I’ll take it. We needed this one.”

Even while fighting with his control, some of it because of a delivery adjustment, Porcello was tough with runners on base, sometimes a lot of runners.

“I was proud of the way I battled out of some of those innings,” Porcello said. “This is a big win for us and a good split, considering how the series started (with a 10-0 loss).”

How and why?

How can a fly ball that was dropped be ruled a sacrifice fly?

According to rule 10.08D (2) it can, and was Thursday.

“After 11 years of not seeing it, it’s the second time we’ve had a play like it here this year,” official scorer Dave Feldman said.

Josh Reddick dropped Miguel Cabrera’sfly ball to right in the fifth inning, turning it into a force at second base instead.

Ian Kinsler scored on the play, which Feldman ruled he would have done if the ball had been caught, so by the rulebook, he was able to award a sacrifice fly to Cabrera.

A rare play, but obviously not unheard of.

“We’ve seen a lot happen in the last 10 days,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Just when you think you know the game of baseball, something happens that reminds you that you don’t know the game of baseball.”

Sums it up correct, don’t you think?

Around the horn

Good to catch up with former Tigers player Dave Engle in Oakland.

He’s one of Ausmus’ surfing buddies, by the way, but his claim to fame with the Tigers was that in the only game in which he ever had three doubles in three at-bats (July 12, 1986) Engle was pinch-hit for Dave Bergman in the ninth inning instead of getting a chance to tie a major-league record with his fourth double.

Acquired that year from Minnesota for Chris Pittaro and Alejandro Sanchez, Engle was released in August, having played less than a full season with the Tigers.

... On the John Jaso single in the ninth Wednesday night that Nick Castellanos could have, but didn’t catch, a supportive Ausmus said again about his young third baseman that “the ball appeared to be hit harder than it was, and sometimes that throws off a fielder’s depth perception.

“Kind of like an outfielder getting fooled by a hitter’s big swing,” Ausmus said. “But an outfielder has more time to recover”

... Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis’ sore left shoulder is still sore.

... Why Don Kelly in the second spot Thursday?

“Mixing righties with lefties,“ Ausmus said. “Just giving (right fielder) Torii (Hunter) a day because he’s an old man. You can tell him I said that.

“I’ve played at Torii’s age (38). It’s good to give him an early game off because we need him for the long haul”

... One last kudo for Sanchez, whose outstanding game was ruined Wednesday night: “I saw by the hitters’ swings in the second or third, he was really sharp,” Ausmus said. “They weren’t recognizing his pitches.”

On deck: Mariners

Series: Three games, Friday-Sunday, Safeco Field, Seattle

First pitch: 10:10 Friday-Saturday, 4:10 p.m. Sunday

TV/radio: FSD/97.1

Probables: Friday — RHP Justin Verlander (5-4, 4.04) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1, 2.39). Saturday — LHP Drew Smyly (2-3, 3.86) vs. RHP Chris Young (4-2, 3.30). Sunday — RHP Max Scherzer (6-1, 3.00) vs. LHP Roenis Elias (3-4, 4.02)

Scouting report

Verlander: He was 4-2 with a 2.67 ERA after eight starts; 1-2 with a 8.31 ERA in his last three, with 37 base-runners allowed his last 1713 innings.

Iwakuma: Suffered first loss his last start when Houston beat him 4-1 with two home runs, the first of his five starts (after starting season on disabled list) in which he’s allowed more than one home run.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello walked a career-high six batters in the team's 5-4 victory Thursday. / Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press