Live Tigers blog: Wild pitch gives Detroit win in 10th
A walk-off wild pitch. That doesn't happen too often — but it does when the wins are flowing.
Cameron Maybin scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 10th inning Thursday to give the Tigers a 5-4 win against Seattle and complete a four-game sweep at Comerica Park.
Nelson Cruz belted two solo homers to continue his Tiger-killing ways, but Detroit escaped a blunder in the top half of the 10th, and then capitalized on two Seattle blunders in the bottom half of the inning.
Here's how: Detroit reliever Kyle Ryan committed a two-base error when his pickoff attempt sailed wide of first base in the 10th. But two ground balls on a drawn-in defense and a strikeout killed the threat.
In the bottom of the 10th: Seth Smith's errant throw and a wild pitch by reliever Steve Cishek allowed Maybin to advance to home plate, where he met a frenzied Tiger dugout to celebrate the sweep.
Detroit left-handed starter Daniel Norris yielded three solo homers in five innings in his first MLB start of the year. He struck out five and walked none.
James McCann belted a two-run homer for Detroit (38-35), who will host first-place Cleveland (41-30) on Friday to start a three-game series.
Chris Iannetta and Leonys Martin homered on back-to-back pitches in the fifth inning for Seattle (36-37).
Wild 10th: Tigers win
Mariners reliever Steve Cishek threw a wild pitch that allowed Cameron Maybin to score the winning run as the Tigers win 5-4 in 10 innings.
The Tigers swept the four-game series.
Here’s how the 10th inning unfolded:
Steven Moya drew a one-out walk and Maybin was inserted to run.
From there, Victor Martinez came in as a pinch-hitter (left-handed) for catcher James McCann. Martinez hit a single to left field. Maybin barely rounded the second base bag as Mariners' left fielder Seth Smith decided to throw toward third. Bad decision: The ball sailed over third base, which allowed Maybin to advance.
Cishek intentionally walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to face Andrew Romine. It worked: Cishek struck out Romine for the second out of the inning.
Ian Kinsler stood in the batter’s box as Cishek delivered a wild pitch that scored Cameron Maybin.
Top 10: Ryan escapes no-out jam
Tigers left-handed reliever Kyle Ryan escaped his personal blunder to maintain a 4-4 tie in the 10th inning.
Ryan gave up a leadoff single to Shawn O’Malley.
From there, trouble ensued.
Ryan’s pickoff attempt sailed wide and high of first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia. O’Malley wheeled to third base on the two-bag error. There were no outs.
From there, the Tigers defense shined with their drawn-in infield.
Ketel Marte grounded out to third baseman Nick Castellanos. That was one out.
Next was Seth Smith, who hit a ground ball to Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who alertly threw home to catch O'Malley in a rundown. He was eventually tagged out by catcher James McCann. That was two outs.
Robinson Cano entered the batter's box and struck out on three pitches. Threat over. Onto the bottom of the 10th.
And Ryan can breathe a sigh of relief.
Bot 9: Iglesias walk cannot produce run
Jose Iglesias drew a one-out walk in the ninth, but Mariners reliever Steve Cishek ended the threat when Miguel Cabrera (0-for-5) flied out and Nick Castellanos popped out.
The game is tied 4-4 entering the top of the 10th inning as the Tigers try to complete a four-game sweep.
Castellanos hit a pop up that was caught by second baseman Shawn O'Malley, who had to make an over-the-head snag.
Top 9: Greene induces double play
Shane Greene issued a one-out walk to Chris Iannetta to cause mild stress.
But Greene induced a soft ground ball from Leonys Martin to start a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
The Tigers and Mariners are tied 4-4 after the top of the ninth.
Martin's grounder was fielded by Ian Kinsler, who flipped to Jose Iglesias. That was one out. Then Iglesias nabbed Martin at first base to end the inning.
Bot 8: Benoit gets 3 K's — and brings back bad memories
Seattle reliever (and former Tiger) Joaquin Benoit took the mound in the eighth and struck out three batters: James McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Andrew Romine (foul-tip, nine pitch at-bat).
It's 4-4 between the Tigers and Mariners after eight innings.
Benoit brings back bad memories. Oh, we remember Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS: Benoit entered with a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning at Fenway Park and gave up a crushing grand slam to Boston's David Ortiz.
The Tigers had a 1-0 series lead and were on their way to a 2-0 stranglehold, but Benoit's mistake paved the way to Boston's comeback.
Ortiz belted Benoit's first-pitch changeup that caused Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter to go tumbling over the right-field wall as a Boston police officer infamously raised his hands in celebration. The scene is cemented in Red Sox lore as they went on to win the World Series against St. Louis.
Top 8: Cruz strikes out
Tiger killer Nelson Cruz entered the batter’s box with one out in the eighth — and this time, he struck out, courtesy of Alex Wilson’s 87-mph slider.
Cruz has two solo homers today as the Mariners and Tigers are tied 4-4 entering the bottom of the eighth.
Wilson has faced four batters and has not relinquished a hit.
Bot 7: Upton stranded on 2nd
Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent struck out Steven Moya to a mild threat in the seventh inning.
The Tigers and Mariners are tied 4-4 after seven innings.
Justin Upton started the series on Monday night with a 12th-inning walk-off homer, his second of the game. In the seventh inning today, Upton drew a two-out walk and stole second base with two strikes, but Moya could not deliver.
Miguel Cabrera (0-for-4) flied out to start the inning.
Vincent is the fifth pitcher used today by the Mariners, who had to scratch initial starter Adrian Sampson (elbow discomfort) after first-inning warmups.
Top 7: Rondon pulled; Alex Wilson ends threat
Tigers right-hander Alex Wilson (4.30 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 10 walks in 29.1 innings) was inserted to face left-handed pinch-hitter Seth Smith and ended the threat by inducing a ground ball.
The Tigers and Mariners are tied 4-4 after the top of the seventh.
Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon issued a two-out walk to Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte and was been pulled from the game to setup the Wilson vs. Smith battle.
Rondon made his third appearance of the season. He was rudely greeted to a first-pitch homer off the bat of Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning.
On Tuesday, Rondon threw a scoreless eighth inning and earned the victory. He issued one walk in 11 pitches on the mound.
Bot 6: Salty flies out to warning track
Seattle reliever Tom Wilmhelmsen entered the game for the bottom of the sixth.
Andrew Romine singled and stole second, but Ian Kinsler grounded out, and Jose Iglesias popped out to end the inning.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out to the warning track to start the inning.
The game is tied 4-4 after six innings.
Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz has two solo homers. All of the Mariners' runs are on solo home runs.
Top 6: Cruz greets Rondon with 1st-pitch HR
Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon was rudely greeted by Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz with a first-pitch homer to left field to start the sixth inning.
Cruz's second homer of the game ties the score at 4-4.
Talk about a Tiger killer: Cruz is remembered by Detroit fans for his six homers in the 2011 ALCS to key the Texas Rangers' six-game triumph.
Then Cruz struck again with two homers to help Baltimore sweep Detroit in the 2014 ALDS.
Tigers left-handed starter Daniel Norris gave up three earned runs — all on solo homers –— in five innings on the mound. He gave up six hits, struck out five and walked none.
Bot 5: Diaz 4 K's
Seattle reliever Edwin Diaz plunked Justin Upton with one out in the inning, but that was the extent of the excitement in the bottom of the fifth.
It's 4-3 Tigers after five innings.
Diaz has four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.
Top 5: Mariners strike with back-to-back homers
The Mariners' Chris Iannetta and Leonys Martin hit back-to-back homers off Tigers left-handed starter Daniel Norris.
It's 4-3 Tigers after the top of the fifth.
Iannetta’s homer hit the left-field foul pole, and on the very next pitch, Martin went the other direction, deep to right.
From there, Seattle nearly struck again. Robinson Cano hit a deep fly ball to left field — and it appeared ready to leave the park — but Tigers left fielder Justin Upton made a leaping catch to end the inning. It would have been a three-run homer.
Norris has five strikeouts and no walks. He threw three straight scoreless innings to start the game and at one point retired nine straight.
Bot 4: McCann belts two-run HR
Catcher James McCann belted a two-run homer off Mariners starter Vidal Nuno to increase the Tigers lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning.
McCann's homer was his fifth of the year. It scored Steven Moya, who drew a one-out walk.
Nuno was pulled for reliever Edwin Diaz (2.25 ERA), who issued a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Andrew Romine struck out swinging for the second out of the inning.
From there, Ian Kinsler singled, and Jose Iglesias followed with an infield single that loaded the bases for Miguel Cabrera.
But Cabrera, a .381 career hitter with the bases loaded and four grand slams, struck out to end the inning.
Top 4: Nelson Cruz strikes again
Mariners slugger (and Tiger killer) Nelson Cruz belted a solo home run to left-center field in the top of the fourth inning.
The Tigers lead 2-1.
Tigers left-handed starter Daniel Norris retired nine straight batters until he faced Cruz, who hit his 17th homer of the year.
Tigers fans remember Cruz, who hit six home runs in the 2011 American League Championship Series as Texas beat Detroit in six games.
And if that was not enough, Cruz struck again in the 2014 ALDS with two homers as Baltimore swept Detroit in three games.
Today, Norris has five strikeouts and no walks through four innings.
Bot 3: Leadoff walk cannot produce run
Mariners emergency starter Vidal Nuno walked the leadoff batter for the second straight inning — but this time he escaped without giving up a run.
The Tigers lead 2-0 entering the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the third, Ian Kinsler drew a four-pitch walk to start the inning. But Jose Iglesias tried to lay a sacrifice bunt and popped out to first base.
From there, Miguel Cabrera struck out looking and Nick Castellanos flied out.
Nuno has given up three hits and two walks. He gave up back-to-back RBI doubles in the second inning to Justin Upton and Steven Moya.
Top 3: Norris retires seven straight
Tigers left-handed starter Daniel Norris has three scoreless innings in the books. He’s retired seven straight batters in his first MLB start of the year.
It’s 2-0 Tigers entering the bottom of the third.
Norris has thrown 40 pitches and has not issued a walk. The one hit he’s allowed was a first-inning double to Robinson Cano.
In the third, the Mariners’ Leonys Martin (.253) grounded out, Shawn O'Malley (.176) flied out and Ketel Marte (.277) grounded out.
Bot 2: Upton, Moya hit RBI doubles
Tigers left fielder Justin Upton and right fielder Steven Moya delivered back-to-back RBI doubles for a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Third baseman Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. He appeared to be picked off in a run down at second base, but Mariners inserted starter Vidal Nuno was called for a balk.
From there, Upton made him pay.
Upton — whose 11-game hitting streak ended Wednesday night — got back to his hitting ways with an RBI double for a 1-0 lead. Next was Moya — who hit two home runs Wednesday night. This time, Moya laced an 83-mph slider to deep right-center field for a 2-0 lead.
Nuno had to make an emergency start for scheduled starter Adrian Sampson, who left the game during first-inning warmups (elbow discomfort).
First baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to place runners on the corners with one out in the inning, but center fielder Andrew Romine lined out into an inning-ending double play.
Top 2: Norris 3 K's through two innings
Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris has three strikeouts through two innings during his first MLB start of the year.
It’s 0-0 entering the bottom of the second at Comerica Park.
In the top of the second, Norris used his 94 mph, four-seam fastball to strike out Mariners’ third baseman Kyle Seager (.264 batting average) and catcher Chris Iannetta (.237).
Mariners first baseman Dae-Ho Lee (.289) grounded out on the first pitch of the inning.
Bot 1: Sampson pulled during first-inning warmup
Mariners scheduled starting pitcher Adrian Sampson left the mound as he was warming up for the first inning and was been pulled from the game. Oddly enough, he never threw a pitch in the first inning.
The Mariners had to insert left-hander Vidal Nuno, who is up to the task thus far and threw a hitless inning.
It's 0-0 after one inning at Comerica Park.
Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (.298) popped out, shortstop Jose Iglesias (.257) flied out to center field and designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (.305) grounded out.
Nuno has a 1.95 ERA entering today. From April 12 through May 31, he allowed one earned run in 16 2/3 innings pitched.
Top 1: Norris throws scoreless frame
Tigers’ left-hander Daniel Norris threw a scoreless inning in his first start of the year.
Mariners designated hitter Robinson Cano (.300) belted a one-out double. But Nelson Cruz — a Tiger killer during his days with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles — popped out on the first pitch.
Norris struck out left fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.254) on a four-seam fastball (95 mph). Shortstop Ketel Marte, who was 7-for-13 in the series, popped out to first base.
Norris takes mound in 1st
Left-hander Daniel Norris makes his first start of the year in Detroit. In his past six starts with Triple-A Toledo, Norris went 4-2 with a 2.55 ERA.
In the top of the first, Norris will face: Shortstop Ketel Marte (.280), left fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.256) and designated hitter Robinson Cano (.297).
Norris, who was listed as the Blue Jays No. 1 prospect at one point in time, is a cancer survivor. Doctors found a growth on his thyroid while pitching for Triple-A Buffalo in 2015 and he continued to pitch through the season — even after the Tigers acquired him in the David Price trade to Toronto. Norris had successful surgery in October.
How to watch: Tigers vs. Mariners
The Tigers go for the four-game sweep of the Mariners on Thursday with a 1:10 p.m. first pitch at Comerica Park.
Daniel Norris will make just his second appearance of the season and first start. He started the season on the disabled list with a back injury.
In 11 starts with Toledo in 2016, Norris is 4-6 with a 4.68 ERA, with 63 strikeouts over 57.2 innings.
Steven Moya powered the Tigers to their 5-1 win over the Mariners on Wednesday night with a pair of homers. “After I hit that first one, it’s like, ‘OK, I can hit home runs here,’” he said after the game.
Wednesday night’s starter, Michael Fulmer, left the game with some dizziness. Tigers trainer Kevin Rand told Chris McCosky of The Detroit News on Thursday morning that Fulmer was dehydrated.
Since Shane Greene and Bruce Rondon have been added to the mix, the Tigers’ bullpen, particularly its back end, is developing some swagger, as McCosky reports.
The Tigers next have a three-game home series against the Indians – Friday at 7:10 p.m., Saturday at 4:10 and Sunday at 1:10.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Jose Iglesias, SS
3. Miguel Cabrera, DH
4. Nick Castellanos, 3B
5. Justin Upton, LF
6. Steven Moya, RF
7. James McCann, C
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B
9. Andrew Romine, CF
Daniel Norris, P
1. Ketel Marte, SS
2. Franklin Gutierrez, LF
3. Robinson Cano, DH
4. Nelson Cruz, RF
5. Dae-Ho Lee, 1B
6. Kyle Seager, 3B
7. Chris Iannetta, C
8. Leonys Martin, CF
9. Shawn O'Malley, 2B
Adrian Sampson, P
TIGERS VS. MARINERS
When: Thursday, 1:10 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Pitching matchup: LHP Daniel Norris (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Adrian Sampson (0-1, 7.71)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: None
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI 212