Despite putting together a nice win on Tuesday, the Tigers couldn’t gain any traction against the Giants on Wednesday at Comerica Park, falling 5-4.
Daniel Norris got off to a strong start against the Giants, blanking them through the first two innings, but the third signaled the start of his downfall.
The Giants (34-52) scored two in the third and added three more in the fourth, ending Norris’ day early. He pitched just four innings, allowing seven hits, five earned runs and striking out two. This was his third straight loss and third consecutive game allowing five earned runs.
Warwick Saupold was the real star on the mound for the Tigers, though, pitching three scoreless innings in relief, keeping them in the game.
An unfortunate trend has been following the Tigers (37-46) throughout the season as yet another lesser-known, young pitcher has fared well against them. Ty Blach began the game with six scoreless innings, but allowed his first runs in the seventh.
Blach (six-plus innings) allowed six hits and struck out two batters and walked one. He only allowed three earned runs.
The Tigers finally caught fire in the seventh, scoring four runs on five hits to draw within one of the Giants, 5-4, but that’s as close as it would get as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez both went 2-for-4, pacing the Tigers, while the latter added two RBIs. Ian Kinsler finished 2-for-5.
Hunter Pence went just 1-for-4, but recorded three RBIs, with a triple, for the Giants. Gorkys Hernandez went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 6.34 ERA), who has been pitching well lately, will take the mound for the Tigers in Thursday’s series finale at 1:10. Johnny Cueto (6-7, 4.26) will get the nod for the Giants.
Bottom 9th: Giants 5, Tigers 4
Sam Dyson came in to close the game for the Giants.
Alex Avila, in his second at-bat of the game, started things off for the Tigers with a groundout to the middle of the infield. Jose Iglesias followed that up with another lazy groundout, this time to third. Ian Kinsler stepped up as the last hope for the Tigers, but he flew out to right to end the game.
Top 9th: Giants 5, Tigers 4
Shane Greene entered the game for Bruce Rondon to start the ninth.
Gorkys Hernandez singled on a lazy ground ball back to the pitcher which Greene couldn't handle cleanly. Brandon Belt then walked after working a full count.
Hunter Pence flew out to center field, holding the runners at first and second. Buster Posey grounded to Nick Castellanos who tagged Hernandez heading to third, turned and then threw across the diamond to record a double play.
Bottom 8th: Giants 5, Tigers 4
Hunter Strickland entered the game in relief for the Giants.
Miguel Cabrera, who started the seventh inning rally, popped out to shallow center to lead things off in the bottom of the eighth. The next batter, J.D. Martinez, grounded out to third.
Victor Martinez doubled to deep right center with two outs. Andrew Romine came in as the pinch-runner for Martinez at second. He would advance no further as Mikie Mahtook struck out swinging.
Top 8th: Giants 5, Tigers 4
Bruce Rondon came in for Warwick Saupold after three scoreless innings in relief.
Austin Slater drew a leadoff walk, drawing more concerns over Rondon's command. Nick Hundley then struck out swinging on three pitches, though. Slater attempted a steal with Kelby Tomlinson at the plate, but he flew out to right and J.D. Martinez fired back to first for an unconventional double play.
Bottom 7th: Giants 5, Tigers 4
Miguel Cabrera knocked a leadoff single for the Tigers to left center. J.D. Martinez then slapped a double down the right field line, moving Cabrera to third.
Victor Martinez finally put the Tigers on the board with a seeing-eyed single up the middle, scoring both runners and chasing Ty Blach.
George Kontos entered the game for Blach with no outs.
Mikie Mahtook kept it going, singling to left to put runners on first and second for Alex Avila who pinch-hit for James McCann. The Giants would go back to the bullpen, though, as Steven Okert relieved Kontos after just one batter.
After falling behind 1-2, Avila struck out looking on a pitch right down the middle of the plate. Once again, the Giants would go right back to the bullpen, bringing in Cory Gearrin. His second pitch to Jose Iglesias was wild and moved runners to second and third before walking the Tigers' shortstop on five pitches.
Command was an issue for Gearrin as he fell behind Ian Kinsler 3-1 with the bases loaded before the second baseman singled off the pitcher, scoring Martinez from third. Nick Castellanos hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Mahtook.
Justin Upton, 0-for-3 coming into the at-bat, struck out swinging to end the long inning.
Top 7th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
Buster Posey was plunked on the elbow by Warwick Saupold to start the seventh.
Jae-Gyun Hwang then grounded into a fielder's choice to short as Jose Iglesias tossed to second for the first out. Brandon Crawford grounded into a rare 3-6-1 double play to end the threat.
Bottom 6th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
Jose Iglesias started the home half of the sixth with a harmless fly ball to shallow center for the first out. Ian Kinsler also hit a lazy fly ball to left, but his dropped in for a one-out single.
Jae-Gyun Hwang made a nice diving stop at third and throw to first to get Nick Castellanos for the second out and Justin Upton ended the inning with a groundout to short.
Top 6th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
For the second straight inning, Warwick Saupold took the mound.
Kelby Tomlinson was retired for the first time in the game, flying out to right, but the next batter, Gorkys Hernandez, hit one in the same direction, singling on a line drive. Brandon Belt accounted for the second out with a fly ball to Justin Upton in deep left. Hunter Pence grounded out to short and Jose Iglesias flipped to second.
Bottom 5th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
Victor Martinez led off the inning for the Tigers, lining out to third. Mikie Mahtook then struck out swinging and James McCann popped out into foul territory on just one pitch to end the fifth.
Top 5th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
Warwick Saupold ended Daniel Norris' day early, beginning the fifth on the mound for the Tigers.
Brandon Crawford flew out to the warning track in left to start the inning. Austin Slater then grounded out to short. Nick Hundley ended the inning with a strikeout looking.
Bottom 4th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
Nick Castellanos got things started with a single up the middle in the home half of the fourth. Justin Upton followed him up with a popout to shallow center. Miguel Cabrera hit a deep fly ball to center, but it was run down by Gorkys Hernandez for the second out. J.D. Martinez ended the inning with a lazy pop out to short right field.
Top 4th: Giants 5, Tigers 0
Daniel Norris needed a quick fourth after a long third inning, but he struggled with his command.
Austin Slater saw just two pitches before popping out down the first base line. Nick Hundley got ahead 3-0 before getting the green light and drilling a double down into the left field corner. Norris then walked Kelby Tomlinson to put runners at first and second with one out.
Gorkys Hernandez popped out into foul territory on the first pitch he saw but Brandon Belt picked him up by singling up the middle to score Hundley and move Tomlinson to third.
Hunter Pence blew the doors open with a two-out triple into right center, scoring two more. Buster Posey was then intentionally walked again before Norris got out of the inning via a deep fly out to center by Jae-Gyun Hwang.
Bottom 3rd: Giants 2, Tigers 0
The Tigers' bats remained quiet in the third.
James McCann drew a one-out walk, hoping to spark the offense, but he would advance no further than second base.
Mikie Mahtook grounded out to second on the first pitch of the inning. Jose Iglesias grounded out weakly to second and Ian Kinsler lined out to end the third.
Top 3rd: Giants 2, Tigers 0
Kelby Tomlinson began the third inning with a sharp single to left. Gorkys Hernandez followed that up with a bunt single back to Daniel Norris which Miguel Cabrera charged, vacating first base.
With two on and no outs, a wild pitch by Norris advanced Tomlinson to third. Brandon Belt helped Norris out by striking out with runners at the corners. Norris then threw another pitch in the dirt as Hernandez was attempting a steal of second and James McCann didn't attempt a throw.
Hunter Pence fell behind 3-1, but grounded out to Norris who had the out at home, but didn't even check him, tossing it to first as Tomlinson scored the game's first run and Hernandez moved to third. Buster Posey was then intentionally walked.
Jae-Gyun Hwang singled after a controversial call on a strike two pitch which gave him extra life, scoring Hernandez. Brandon Crawford finally ended the inning with a groundout to the pitcher.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0, Giants 0
After leaving Tuesday's game with hip tightness, Miguel Cabrera led off the bottom of the second with a hard-hit single up the middle.
J.D. Martinez was the first out of the home half, striking out swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Victor Martinez ended the second with a double-play ground ball to third.
Top 2nd: Tigers 0, Giants 0
On the first pitch of the second inning, Jae-Gyun Hwang flew out to right center. Brandon Crawford then struck out swinging on three pitches.
Austin Slater recorded the Giants' first hit of the game with a seeing-eyed single past a diving Nick Castellanos at third. Nick Hundley accounted for the third and final out with a grounder back to Daniel Norris.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Giants 0
Madison Bumgarner's early-season replacement, Ty Blach, took the mound for the Giants.
Ian Kinsler led the bottom of the first off with a shot toward the gap which looked to be extra bases, but Hunter Pence made an impressive running catch in right center. Nick Castellanos then fell behind 0-2 before grounding out to second. Justin Upton, making an appearance in the No. 3 slot, grounded out to third which ended with a bang-bang play at first.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Giants 0
Looking to win his first game since June 16, Daniel Norris took the mound for the Tigers.
Gorkys Hernandez led the game off with a groundout to third base. After nearly drilling Brandon Belt in the head with an off-speed pitch, Norris put him on with a one-out walk. Hunter Pence then popped out to Ian Kinsler in foul territory along the first-base line.
All-Star catcher Buster Posey flew out to right field to end the top of the inning.
The Tigers will try to win consecutive games as they continue their three-game interleague series with the Giants tonight at Comerica Park.
Tuesday, Justin Upton provided the offensive fireworks with a pair of doubles and a two-run single in the seventh to break a 3-3 deadlock. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer overcame a sluggish start — giving up his first home run since April 29 to Hunter Pence in the first — and held the visitors to three earned runs on five hits in eight innings to raise his record to 8-6.
Reliever Justin Wilson pitched an immaculate ninth to earn his ninth save.
First baseman Miguel Cabrera left in the seventh after experiencing tightness right lower back and hip area but told MLB.com he expects to play tonight.
Leading off for Giants tonight in center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, a onetime prized Tigers prospect who never reached the majors while with Detroit. He's played for three different major-league teams in parts of four seasons.
GIANTS AT TIGERS
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 37-45, in fourth place in the AL Central and 7 games behind the first-place Cleveland Indians. The Giants are 33-52, in last place in the NL West and 22.5 games back of the first-place Dodgers.
1. Gorkys Hernandez, CF
2. Brandon Belt, 1B
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Buster Posey, DH
5. Jae-Gyun Hwang, 3B
6. Brandon Crawford, SS
7. Austin Slater, LF
8. Nick Hundley, C
9. Kelby Tomlinson, 2B
SP: Ty Blach, LHP
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Nick Castellanos, 3B
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Victor Martinez, DH
7. Mikie Mahtook, CF
8. James McCann, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP: Daniel Norris, LHP