Seriously? The Tigers struck out 21 times on Wednesday night and won? They also set a major-league record by striking out 37 times in the last two games — yet won both? In your dreams. Correct on all three counts. First count: The Tigers won the strangest of games, 2-1 in 14 innings over the Seattle Mariners — a marathon in which they struck 21 times, tying their record, but pushed across the winning run on Brayan Pena's bases-loaded groundout. It was also Pena who held onto the ball at the plate after tagging Justin Smoak in a jarring collision for the game's final out. "Gotta give him credit," Torii Hunter said of Pena. "He got smoked by Smoak, but made the play." Second count: Yes, the Tigers struck out 37 times in the last two, but won both games. "I'm not much for stuff like that," manager Jim Leyland said. "It's nice conversation, but the W's and L's are all that count. We put two games in the right column." And third count: Because Wednesday night's game ended at 2:37 a.m., Detroit time, it no doubt coincided with your dreams. The Tigers put together the winning rally with a single, a walk, a late throw to third on a sacrifice attempt — followed by Pena's chopper to short that drove in Don Kelly with the go-ahead run. The entire game, however, revolved around pitching, strikeouts and one fundamental defensive play — the one that ended the game. With Smoak at first and two outs, Dustin Ackley doubled to the wall in right. Hunter got over to ball, made only one grab for it, picked up cleanly, and heaved it in. "I thought the game was tied," Leyland said, when asked what he felt when he saw Ackley's double hit the wall, "but I also thought their third-base coach (former Tiger Jeff Datz) made a great call by sending him. "We just happened to execute it."
Brayan Pena, Tigers hang on for win in 14 innings
Detroit News | Apr 18