Tigers bats lead to big win over Cardinals
FINAL: Tigers 10, Cardinals 4
Al Alburquerque got Matt Carpenter to fly out and Matt Holliday to ground out before walking Jhonny Peralta. But with a six-run lead and very little pressure on his shoulders, Alburquerque got Mark Reynolds to ground out to third to end the game.
For the second straight day, the Tigers put up double digits on the scoreboard. They did it with 17 hits that all came in timely fashion. Seven different players picked up an RBI. Miguel Cabrera, Anthony Gose, James McCann and Yoenis Cespedes all had three-hit games.
With David Price on the mound tomorrow, the Tigers have a chance to win this series on the road against one of the best teams in baseball. The confidence is sky-high right now, and they need to keep that momentum going when they come back from this quick three-game road trip.
Of concern for the Tigers will be the health of Shane Greene, who pitched five scoreless innings tonight before leaving the game with elbow pain.
Top 9th (Tigers 10, Cardinals 4)
The Tigers bats have come to hit tonight. After back-to-back singles by Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez to leadoff the ninth against Seth Maness, Yoenis Cespedes drove one deep to right-center field off the ball to score both runners and give the Tigers the two runs they just gave up back.
After Hernan Perez struck out, James McCann brought Cespedes home from second base with a double of his own.
McCann was brought home by Iglesias, who notched a single to left field.
After a dormant stretch, the Tigers bats seem to have woken up. They couldn't have picked a better time to do it, either, as they're facing one of the best teams in baseball in the St. Louis.
Bottom 8th (Tigers 6, Cardinals 4)
Tom Gorzelanny fooled Jason Heyward with a 3-1 breaking ball right down the middle of the plate. But the Tigers reliever paid for going back to the well when he threw Heyward the same pitch and the Cardinals slugger went deep to right field for a two-run shot.
Joba Chamberlin came on with one out and got Tony Cruz to ground out and struck out Peter Bourjos on a full-count on a ball in the dirt.
Kolten Wong singled to leadoff the inning off Tom Gorzelanny. J.D. Martinez did a nice job cutting off the hard-hit ball to keep Wong from going to second, but it didn't matter after the Heyward home run.
Top 8th (Tigers 6, Cardinals 2)
Anthony Gose brought home James McCann when he got the Tigers second infield hit of the inning with runners on the corners. Gose went the other way and forced Jhonny Peralta to stretch just to keep the ball from going into the outfield.
McCann hustled out a one-out double off new Cardinals reliever Miguel Socolovich, and Jose Iglesias notched an infield single to put men on first and third with one out.
Andrew Romine struck out in a pinch-hitting role before the Gose RBI.
What a revelation Gose has been of late. His confidence level is soaring and he is igniting this offense. When someone's getting on base ahead of the big boys, that's always a recipe for success.
Romine will stay in the game to play third for Castellanos, moving the pitcher's spot to sixth in the lineup.
Bottom 7th (Tigers 5, Cardinals 2)
Jhonny Peralta went deep with two outs off Angel Nesbitt and the Cardinals have cut into the Tigers lead late in St. Louis.
Matt Carpenter had a one-out single to left field before Nesbitt came back and got Matt Holliday to foul out.
Peralta had been getting a steady diet of sliders all night long, and this time he made the Tigers pay with a big fly.
Report: Shane Greene left the game with mild irritation in his pitching elbow. He'll be examined tomorrow.
Top 7th (Tigers 5, Cardinals 0)
Ian Kinsler drew a two-out walk to bring Miguel Cabrera to the dish against St. Louis reliever Mitch Harris. Cabrera made sure his at-bat would go by the wayside as he blasted one to straight-away center field for a two-run homer that is the 399th of his career.
Not to be outdone, J.D. Martinez hit a high fly ball that snuck just inside the left field foul pole and put the Tigers up 5-0.
It was looking like the Tigers bats weren't going to give the bullpen too much of a cushion to play with tonight, but the big boys went off at just the right time.
Bottom 6th (Tigers 2, Cardinals 0)
Tonight's questionable move by Brad Ausmus paid off as Blaine Hardy came on for Shane Greene (74 pitches) and struck out two en route to a solid sixth inning.
Hardy walked Yadier Molina with one out, but came right back to strike out Jason Heyward before getting Xavier Scruggs to fly out to left field.
Rajai Davis was on deck when the sixth inning ended for the Tigers as St. Louis pulled off an inning-ending double play. Greene had struggled with his control a bit tonight, but there will be some questions about why Ausmus felt Hardy was the best option.
Top 6th (Tigers 2, Cardinals 0)
Yoenis Cespedes stole third base on Matt Belisle, who had just entered the game for Carlos Martinez. A James McCann ground ball with runners on the corners allowed the Cardinals to get the force at second, and Jose Iglesias grounded into a double play to end the inning as the Tigers let a potential big inning slip away.
It was the shortstop on the other side who made a mistake this time as Jhonny Peralta threw a routine ground ball wide of first base and allowed Cespedes to reach to leadoff the inning.
Nick Castellanos got a broken-bat single up the middle and chased Martinez from the game having thrown 103 pitches and striking out eight.
Bottom 5th (Tigers 2, Cardinals 0)
Shane Greene again found himself with men on base after recording two early outs, but once again he dug in and got the job done as Mark Reynolds struck out chasing a high fastball.
Greene got Matt Carpenter out for the first time tonight on a deep fly to center field, but for the second time tonight Jose Iglesias made a bad throw to first base after calling off Nick Castellanos on a softly-hit ground ball.
Greene then walked Jhonny Peralta to put men on first and second.
It's been an up-and-down night for Greene as far as keeping men off the base paths, but he's keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard, and that's the most important thing.
Top 5th (Tigers 2, Cardinals 0)
Anthony Gose hit a ball deep off the right field wall that turned into a triple after Jason Heyward misplayed it.
Ian Kinsler drove one right back to Heyward that was deep enough to score Gose from third on a sacrifice fly.
Carlos Martinez got his eighth strikeout of the night by getting Miguel Cabrera to chase a high fastball, and he finished off the inning by getting J.D. Martinez to groundout to third.
Martinez was good tonight, but all those strikeouts will pile up the pitch count (99). He could be done for the night.
Bottom 4th (Tigers 1, Cardinals 0)
Jose Iglesias made an uncharacteristic mistake when he threw the ball over the head of Miguel Cabrera with Mark Reynolds running, putting the leadoff man on second base.
Kolten Wong lined out to center field, Yadier Molina lined out to left field and Greene walked Jason Heyward intentionally with pitcher Carlos Martinez on deck. Martinez tried to bunt, but Greene easily got him at first.
Greene pitched well in the fourth and seems to have corralled some of the wildness he experienced with earlier pitches.
Top 4th (Tigers 1, Cardinals 0)
James McCann notched a two-out single up the middle of the infield and Jose Iglesias walked on four pitches before Shane Greene struck out on six pitches from Carlos Martinez.
It was almost as if Martinez pitched around Iglesias, which is strange because you would think he'd want the pitcher leading off the next inning.
After hitting one over the fence in his first at-bat, Yoenis Cespedes became Martinez's fifth strikeout victim of the night to leadoff the fourth inning.
Nick Castellanos was destined for the same fate, striking out on three pitches.
Aside from the hanging breaking ball he through that Cespedes hit approximately 412 feet in the second inning, Martinez has mixed in his pitches nicely. He does have a high pitch count (78), however, through four innings.
Bottom 3rd (Tigers 1, Cardinals 0)
Shane Greene hit his second batter of the night when he nicked Matt Carpenter on a pitch up-and-in with one out.
Matt Holliday hit the ball on a line, but it was right at J.D. Martinez, and Jhonny Peralta struck out on three pitches as Greene once again battled back from a mistake.
The Tigers starter has thrown just 39 pitches through three innings. He's struggling with his control a bit, but it hasn't come back to bite him yet.
Top 3rd (Tigers 1, Cardinals 0)
Anthony Gose drove a ball back up the middle for a one-out single and moved up to third after a two-out single through the left side of the infield by Miguel Cabrera.
With runners on the corners and two outs, J.D. Martinez struck out on a slider that he was way out in front of.
Shane Greene struck out swinging to leadoff the inning, but he did make contact with the ball on a swing that went foul. That's a big deal for those of you who remember Greene's uncomfortable at-bats in Pittsburgh earlier this season.
Bottom 2nd (Tigers 1, Cardinals 0)
Shane Greene loaded the bases, but luckily he did it for St. Louis pitcher Carlos Martinez, who Greene struck out on four pitches.
After getting two quick outs, including a strikeout of former Tiger Jhonny Peralta to start the inning, Shane Greene hit Kolten Wong in the rear end with a pitch before giving up a single to Yadier Molina.
With men on first and second base, Jason Heyward hit one right back to Shane Greene, who tried to jump and get the ball over his head just to have it go off his glove and allow everyone to reach their destination safely.
Greene plunked Wong and nearly did the same to Martinez on the first pitch of the at-bat. He'll have to settle down out there if he's going to stay out of trouble tonight. His pitch count (27) is in good shape through the first two innings.
Top 2nd (Tigers 1, Cardinals 0)
Yoenis Cespedes turned on a hanging breaking ball from Carlos Martinez and belted it way over the left field fence and gone to give the Tigers the early lead in St. Louis.
The Tigers first four hitters of the game couldn't muster anything against Martinez, and Cespedes had a wild swing or two to start off his at-bat, but he got a juicy one to hit right there and did some damage.
James McCann drew a two-out walk, but Jose Iglesias bounced out to short to end the inning.
Martinez is a hard-thrower, but he made a mistake by hanging that breaking ball to Cespedes. He may start to rely on the fastball against a good-hitting fastball team. If the Tigers are ready for it, they could start lighting up the scoreboard.
Bottom 1st (Tigers 0, Cardinals 0)
After getting Peter Bourjos to groundout to leadoff the inning, Matt Carpenter worked himself back from an 0-2 count and into a full-count before ripping a double down the right field line.
Greene made the pitch he needed to make against Matt Holliday, however, as he got the St. Louis slugger to line out to Ian Kinsler, who threw back to Jose Iglesias at second for the double play.
It's good for Greene's confidence that he didn't give up anything more following that hard hit ball off Carpenter's bat. This St. Louis lineup is dangerous, and Greene needed to get off to a good start.
Top 1st (Tigers 0, Cardinals 0)
Anthony Gose struck out to leadoff the game on four pitches from Carlos Martinez.
Ian Kinsler hit a bullet back up the middle, but the Cardinals had him played perfectly as Kolten Wong spun around on the throw to first for the out.
Miguel Cabrera battled his way to a full-count, but the big man grounded out harmlessly to third base.
1. Anthony Gose, CF
2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, RF
5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. James McCann, C
8. Jose Iglesias, SS
9. Shane Greene, P
1. Peter Bourjos, CF
2. Matt Carpenter, 3B
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
5. Mark Reynolds, 1B
6. Kolten Wong, 2B
7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Jason Heyward, RF
9. Carlos Martinez, P