Tigers take one from Brewers
The Tigers had been waiting for a big for, oh, about the last 34 innings.
Then Nick Castellanos came up huge with a two-out, bases-loaded triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to send Detroit past Milwaukee, 5-2, on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Castellanos fell behind 0-2, but then battled like crazy -- until he got a fastball from Brewers reliever Jonathan Broxton (1-1) and destroyed it.
The Tigers loaded the bases and scored the three runs after two were already out in the inning.
Shane Greene didn't get a decision, but was sharp in his 6.1 innings. He allowed two earned runs, but only one when he was on the mound.
Angel Nesbitt relieved him in the seventh and allowed two soft hits as the Brewers tied the game 2. The only ball hit hard off Nesbitt was a line drive to shortstop, that was turned into a double play.
Joba Chamberlain relieved him, and Blaine Hardy relieved him, both posting zeroes. Hardy (2-0) picked up the win.
Joakim Soria pitched the ninth inning, picking up his 13th save in 13 opportunities. He allowed a leadoff double, but nothing more than that.
The Tigers return to action Thursday afternoon, when they start a four-game series against the Astros at Comerica Park. The Astros come into the game with the most wins (27) in baseball.
Follow along with tweets from our team of Tigers writers:
Castellanos comes up big, puts Tigers on top
The Tigers have been waiting for a big hit. And waiting. And waiting.
Well, they finally got one.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Nick Castellanos fought off several pitches before ripping a game-tying triple to the right-field corner. He slid into third, pumped his fists and the Comerica Park crowd went crazy.
The Tigers lead 5-2, as they look to salvage the series finale against the Brewers.
The Tigers did all the damage with two outs against Brewers reliever Jonathan Broxton. J.D. Martinez singled, as did Yoenis Cespedes. Then Tyler Collins walked to load the bases for Castellanos.
Castellanos swung at a couple bad pitches early in the at-bat to fall behind 0-2, but then he fought off some Broxton fastballs before smashing a fastball for the triple.
James McCann walked after Castellanos, and reliever Michael Blazek got out of the inning when Jose Iglesias struck out.
The Tigers offense wasted multiple opportunities early in the game, but finally took advantage of one.
Blaine Hardy is in line for the win. Joakim Soria will go for his 13th save.
Greene dazzles; Brewers tie it at 2
Shane Greene did his job Wednesday night.
But the bats and the bullpen, so far, haven't.
Greene left in the seventh inning with the Tigers leading 2-1, but reliever Angel Nesbitt allowed a pair of soft hits and the Brewers tied the game at 2.
Greene left the game with one out in the seventh inning, after walking Khris Davis. He left to a nice ovation.
He labored through the first three innings, and started hanging a few pitches -- one of which Ryan Braun crushed for a homer.
But he was impressive most of the night, allowing just three hits and two walks during his outing. He struck out six.
It's the third straight nice start for Greene. His season really has been split in threes. He started with three absolute gems, then was rocked in three straight starts, and since has turned it around.
He won't get a win Wednesday.
Nesbitt allowed a seeing-eye single down the third-base line to Luis Sardinas, and then Elian Herrera looped a double down the right-field line as the Brewers tied it. He got out of the inning when Martin Maldanado lined into a double play.
Had Nesbitt got out of the inning with no runs, Greene's ERA would've been back below 4.00, after ballooning to 5.56 after a clunker start against the White Sox on May 5. As it stands, his ERA is 4.05.
Tigers jump on top, 2-1
The Tigers jumped back in front in their half of the fourth inning, but it should've been a bigger inning.
The Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out, but managed just one run to take a 2-1 lead over the Brewers.
J.D. Martinez led off the inning with a sharp single to left, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Then Yoenis Cespedes hit a rocket off third baseman Aramis Ramirez's glove for a single. Tyler Collins, in his second game back in Detroit, then poked a Kyle Lohse change-up into left field to load the bases with no out.
The Tigers crowd came to life, smelling a big inning. It didn't happen.
Nick Castellanos hit a grounder to short that looked like a double play, but a hard Collins slide -- possibly a late, hard Collins slide -- gave Castellanos just enough time to beat out the relay. That gave him an RBI, and kept a possible big inning alive.
But then James McCann followed with a grounder to second base that was turned into a double play.
A lead's a lead, but it should've been much better than that.
Braun ties it up for Brewers
Shane Greene really labored through the second and third innings, topping 20 pitches in each frame.
Then the Tigers went rather quickly in their half of the third, giving Greene barely a breather.
Then Greene hung a 78-mph curveball to Brewers oft-booed slugger Ryan Braun, who crushed it for a mammoth homer to left. Braun put his head down as soon as he hit it. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes barely gave chase.
It was an absolute no-doubter, tying the game at 1.
It also was the second homer of the series for Braun.
Greene got the next three hitters, but there were some very good swings -- including a line shot by Adam Lind that just happened to be right at right fielder J.D. Martinez.
The Tigers again look a bit lost at the plate, with just a pair of hits.
They've scored two runs or fewer in just about half their games this season, and look like they're about to do it again.
Tigers jump on top early
The Tigers, looking to avoid a sweep by the awful Brewers, jumped out to a 1-0 lead early Wednesday.
They scored in the second inning, on a throwing error.
Yoenis Cespedes led off the inning with a rocket, ground-rule double. Then, with Tyler Collins at the plate and already with two strikes, Cespedes bolted for third -- and Brewers catcher Martin Maldanado threw the ball into left field.
That allowed Cespedes to scamper home, giving the Tigers the early lead.
Collins then grounded out to first, where Adam Lind made a nice diving stop. After Nick Castellanos singled to center, James McCann struck out and Jose Iglesias grounded out -- after a brief replay that overturned the original safe call.
The Tigers are trying to avoid a sweep by the worst team in baseball.
In fact, the last time the Tigers were swept at home by a team 12 games or more under .500 was September 2008, when the Royals accomplished the feat.
Shane Greene looking good
As my colleague Chris McCosky said on Twitter a big ago, it's hard to rave about Shane Greene early.
After all, Anibal Sanchez was perfect through two innings Tuesday night, then was rocked by the Brewers in the third.
So, we'll see how Greene does the second time through the lineup. But he's looking good early, his first start after leaving a game with numbness in his fingers.
Most noticeable, his fastball is humming in the mid-90s, and he's picked up three strikeouts through seven hitters.
The only hit off him was Khris Davis sharp single to left with two out in the second inning. Greene got the final out when Luis Sardinas hit a grounder up the middle, where second baseman Ian Kinsler made a nifty play.
The Tigers didn't score in the first, despite Miguel Cabrera's two-out single to right.
That extended Cabrera's hitting streak to eight games.
Odd schedule for Wednesday, Thursday
Like, who did this Tigers schedule? It's a little wacky, to say the least.
The Tigers are one of the few teams left in baseball who like to have "getaway day" games, or afternoon games for the series finale, so opposing teams can get a head start on their travel to their next city.
Yet, for Wednesday's series finale against the Brewers, they're playing at night.
And even more bizarre, for the series opener against the Astros on Thursday, they're playing during the day.
The Tigers typically draw well on Thursday afternoons, but those games usually are series finales, not series openers.
Anyway, the Tigers look to get back on track against the lowly Brewers, who've managed to take the first two games in the series as the Tigers' bats have gone silent again.
Tyler Collins is back at DH for a second straight day, after having a single and a walk in his season debut Tuesday.
Tigers, Brewers set for series finale
The Tigers conclude their three-game interleague series with the Brewers on Wednesday at Comerica Park (FSD/1270 AM and 97.1 FM). First pitch is 7:08.
The Tigers (23-17) have lost three straight, the last two to the Brewers (15-25).
Right-hander Shane Greene (4-2, 4.21 ERA) starts for the Tigers while right-hander Kyle Lohse (3-4, 5.85) goes for the Brewers. In his last start, Greene pitched five scoreless innings while allowing five hits with two walks and five strikeouts to pick up his fourth win.
He is 2-0 in interleague starts with 0.00 ERA in 13 innings pitched.
Here are tonight's lineups:
1. Carlos Gomez, CF
2. Gerardo Parra, RF
3. Ryan Braun, DH
4. Adam Lind, 1B
5. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
6. Khris Davis, LF
7. Luis Sardinas, SS
8. Elian Herrera, 2B
9. Martin Maldonado, C
SP. Kyle Lohse, RH
1. Anthony Gose, CF
2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, RF
5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
6. Tyler Collins, DH
7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
8. James McCann, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP. Shane Greene, RH