FINAL: TIGERS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 3
The Tigers got a solid outing from Justin Verlander, home runs from Justin Upton and James McCann, and a big two-run single in the fifth inning from Mikie Mahtook that provided what proved to be the game-winning runs in a 7-3 Tigers victory.
After being staked to a 2-0 lead early on, Verlander struggled against the meat of the Arizona order in a three-run third inning. He bounced back, though, getting to the seventh inning after seeing his pitch count hit 70 after the rough third frame.
Verlander's final line: 6+ IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 108 pitches
After putting two men on in the seventh, Verlander exited, and that's when the new look Tigers bullpen went to work.
Blaine Hardy and Shane Greene cleaned up Verlander's mess with little drama, though Greene did give up a deep shot to left field to Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt that came up just shy of the fence. Alex Wilson had himself a neat and tidy eighth frame, and newly anointed closer Justin Wilson tossed a perfect ninth in a non-save situation.
Tomorrow's matchup: Matt Boyd (2-2, 3.78) vs. Zack Godley (0-0, 3.60)
Top 9th: Tigers 7, Diamondbacks 3
Dixon Machado singled to leadoff the ninth against new Arizona reliever Jorge De La Rosa, and a pinch-hitting Victor Martinez singled to right field, giving way to Tyler Collins as a pinch-runner. After an Andrew Romine sacrifice moved the runners into scoring position, Jose Iglesias grounded out to shortstop, forcing the runners to hold. Miguel Cabrera was issued an intentional walk that loaded the bases for Nick Castellanos, who was able to work a bases loaded walk that put the Tigers up 7-3.
With the bases still loaded, Arizona brought in Archie Bradley, and he was able to get out of the inning by striking out Justin Upton.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 6, Diamondbacks 3
Alex Wilson got the call from the new-look back end of the Tigers bullpen, and although Chris Owings reached on a one-out infield single, Wilson got out of the inning with little trouble. He struck out Daniel Descalso and Chris Herrmann grounded out to second to end the frame.
Brandon Drury flew out to left center to leadoff the inning.
Top 8th: Tigers 6, Diamondbacks 3
Justin Upton crushed what may be the hardest hit home run of the year by a Tigers hitter, crushing a Tom Wilhelmsen offering way over the fence in center field and into the camera well to put the Tigers up by a more comfortable 6-3 margin.
Upton's homer traveled a ridiculous 454 feet.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 5, Diamondbacks 3
Justin Verlander did come back for the seventh inning despite a pitch count that had reached triple digits, and although he didn't leave the game on a high note, the Tigers still escaped the seventh inning with their lead intact.
Verlander walked Chris Herrmann and gave up a single through the left side of the infield to A.J. Pollock, and that's how his night ended, with two men on base and nobody out.
Blaine Hardy was first up out of the bullpen, and he got the left-handed David Peralta to fly out to left field.
Shane Greene was the next man up against slugger Paul Goldschmidt, who hit the ball a long way to left center before it fell into Justin Upton's glove. After an intentional walk was issued to Jake Lamb, Greene struck out Yasmany Tomas on three pitches.
Top 7th: Tigers 5, Diamondbacks 3
Andrew Romine grounded out to shortstop, and that was the end of the line for Andrew Chafin's relief appearance, as he made way for Tom Wilhelmsen. After the double switch that saw Arizona bring in Chris Herrmann to set up behind the plate, Wilhelmsen got Jose Iglesias to line out to third and Miguel Cabrera to fly out to right field, where he just narrowly missed a home run for the second time tonight.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 5, Diamondbacks 3
Brandon Drury doubled to right center for the second time today, this one coming with one out and breaking up Justin Verlander's streak of eight straight retired Diamondbacks. Verlander bounced back to get Chris Owings to fly out to right field and Jeff Mathis to strike out swinging.
Yasmany Tomas flew out to center field to leadoff the inning.
Verlander's pitch count is up to 101. He's been known to come out on a short leash for another inning with his pitch count in this vicinity.
Top 6th: Tigers 5, Diamondbacks 3
T.J. McFarland took over for Robbie Ray in the sixth, and after James McCann lined one off his left ankle, McFarland was done for the night, though he did recover to throw McCann out at first before exiting.
Enter: Andrew Chafin, who got Dixon Machado to ground out to shortstop and struck out Justin Verlander to end the inning.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 5, Diamondbacks 3
David Peralta grounded out to second, Paul Goldschmidt flew out to center field and Jake Lamb struck out as Justin Verlander has finally settled into this one, retiring the last seven he's faced. His pitch count sits at 88, so he's all systems go for the sixth.
Top 5th: Tigers 5, Diamondbacks 3
Andrew Romine was able to draw a one-out walk, the fourth of the night issued by Robbie Ray. Jose Iglesias lucked into a bloop single behind first base to put the Tigers in business with two men on. That's when Miguel Cabrera went to work with a double to center field that plated Romine and tied the game at 3-3.
After Robbie Ray walked the bases loaded with a free pass issued to Nick Castellanos, Justin Upton struck out swinging after working himself into a full count. But Mikie Mahtook picked the Tigers up with a single to center field that plated two runs, putting the Tigers up 5-3. The inning ended on the play when Castellanos tried to get to third.
Justin Verlander struck out swinging to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 4th: Diamondbacks 3, Tigers 2
Jeff Mathis flew out to right field, Robbie Ray grounded out to shortstop and A.J. Pollock struck out swinging as Justin Verlander put together his first 1-2-3 inning of the night.
Top 4th: Diamondbacks 3, Tigers 2
After Justin Upton and Mikie Mahtook both flew out to right field, James McCann was able to draw a two-out walk, but Dixon Machado grounded out to third to end the frame.
Bottom 3rd: Diamondbacks 3, Tigers 2
A.J. Pollock doubled to right field to leadoff the inning. He was able to move up to third when David Peralta grounded out back to the pitcher, and Paul Goldschmidt brought him home with a single through the right side of the infield that cut the Tigers lead to 2-1.
Jake Lamb nearly put Arizona on top with a long drive to left center, but Justin Upton made the out right just a few foot or two in front of the wall. The long fly ball allowed Goldschmidt to move up to second, and he was able to come home and score on a Yasmany Tomas single to left field. The Tigers challenged the play after a strong throw from Upton appeared to nail Goldschmidt at the plate, but there wasn't a convincing replay to overturn the call on the field, leaving the game tied at 2-2.
With Tomas advancing to second on the throw home, he was able to score easily on a Brandon Drury double to right center that gives Arizona a 3-2 lead.
Verlander's pitch count is way out whack at 70.
Top 3rd: Tigers 2, Diamondbacks 0
Jose Iglesias grounded out to first, Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging after narrowly missing a home run down the left field line, and Nick Castellanos became Ray's sixth strikeout victim as the Tigers went down in order in the third.
Ray has some really good stuff tonight, though the Tigers have been able to jump on a few pitches. His pitch count sits at 55.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 2, Diamondbacks 0
Chris Owings notched a one-out single through the right side of the infield, but Justin Verlander was able to bounce back and get out of the inning by getting Jeff Mathis and Robbie Ray to strike out swinging.
Brandon Drury flew out to right field to leadoff the frame.
Verlander's pitch count is elevated at 48. It's hard to imagine him getting through more than six innings tonight.
Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Diamondbacks 0
James McCann isn't having a good year, but when he makes contact, boy oh boy does he make contact. Coming into his first at-bat of tonight's game with a .149 average, McCann blasted his seventh home run of the season, which leads all American League catchers and puts the Tigers up 2-0.
Dixon Machado and Justin Verlander struck out, while Andrew Romine lined out to shortstop to end the inning.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 1, Diamondbacks 0
After striking out the first two hitters he faced, Justin Verlander lost his command and issued back-to-back walks to Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb. It looked as though he might lose Yasmany Tomas in the next at-bat, but on his 29th pitch of the inning, Verlander got Tomas to ground out to second base to end the frame.
Top 1st: Tigers 1, Diamondbacks 0
Andrew Romine drew a leadoff walk from Arizona starter Robbie Ray, and after the former Tigers pitcher bounced back to strike out Jose Iglesias and Miguel Cabrera, Romine moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. That's when Nick Castellanos went to work, singling through the left side of the infield to plate Romine and put the Tigers up 1-0.
That's a big time at-bat by Castellanos. Ray was getting the benefit of a wide strike zone in the previous at-bats, and he had Castellanos on the ropes in an 0-2 count.
Justin Upton followed by drawing a walk of his own, but Mikie Mahtook flew out to center field to end the inning.
Ray threw 28 pitches in the opening frame.
TIGERS AT DIAMONDBACKS
First pitch: 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, Chase Field, Phoenix
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: Tigers are 15-15, tied for third place in the American League Central, 1.5 games behind the Indians. Diamondbacks are 18-15, third place in the National League West, 2.5 games behind the Rockies.
Andrew Romine, CF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Nicholas Castellanos, 3B
Justin Upton, LF
Mikie Mahtook, RF
James McCann, C
Dixon Machado, 2B
SP: Justin Verlander, RHP
A.J. Pollock, CF
David Peralta, RF
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Jake Lamb, 3B
Yasmany Tomas, LF
Brandon Drury, 2B
Chris Owings, SS
Jeff Mathis, C
SP: Robbie Ray, LHP