DETROIT — Tyler Stephenson had an RBI single in the 10th inning in the Cincinnati Reds’ 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Stephenson led off the 10th with a single off Tigers closer Alex Lange (6-4), with Noelvi Marte sliding around Jake Rogers’ tag at the plate.
“On the pitch before, I fouled off a fastball that was the best pitch of the at-bat,” Stephenson said. “This game is hard enough without missing good pitches to hit, but I called time and refocused. He made a mistake and I was able to take it right and (Marte) did the rest.”
Joey Votto then reached on an error, but Detroit turned a 6-3-4 double play and Lange struck out pinch-hitter Jake Fraley.
Reds All-Star closer Alexis Díaz (9-4) got the victory with a scoreless ninth, and former Tiger Buck Farmer pitched the 10th for his third save.
In the 10th, Spencer Torkelson’s fly ball moved Andy Ibañez to third, but Akil Baddoo grounded to Jonathan India, who threw Ibañez out at the plate.
“The contact play with one out is meant to put pressure on the defense, but when it is hit right at someone, it is a fairly easy out at home,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We were unlucky that it was hit right at India — if it goes 5 feet to his left, Andy is probably safe.”
Farmer then struck out Kerry Carpenter to end the game. The Reds bullpen pitched six scoreless innings, allowing two hits with seven strikeouts.
“That was a great win to end a really fun team win,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Our bullpen pitches great, and they are ready to take on any challenge. That’s really important in this game.”
Tigers starter Joey Wentz allowed five runs — two earned — in 2 2/3 innings, while Cincinnati’s Brandon Williamson gave up five in four-plus innings.
The Tigers took the lead with three runs in the first. With one out, Ibañez homered to left, and Williamson compounded the problem by allowing singles to the next four Detroit hitters. The last two, by Kerry Carpenter and Miguel Cabrera, drove in Spencer Torkelson and Jake Rogers.
Cincinnati tied it in the second. Third baseman Zack Short threw away Stephenson’s grounder. Votto grounded out, but Elly De La Cruz drew a walk.
Harrison Bader flew out, but TJ Friedl made it 3-1 with an RBI single and took second when Torkelson cut off the throw and threw to the wrong base.
That proved costly as India hit a two-run single. Nick Senzel doubled, but Parker Meadows made a running catch in the gap to prevent Spencer Steer from putting the Reds ahead.
“Getting out of the first was big for Joey, but it kind of spiraled on him in the second,” Hinch said. “We didn’t do him favors behind him, though.”
Bader’s two-run double made it 5-3 in the third, but the Tigers tied it in the fifth on Ibañez’s RBI double and Carpenter’s run-scoring single.
“We had to battle back from that first inning, but Brandon locked it down and kept us in the game,” Bell said.
Bader was making his second visit to Detroit in less than two weeks. He was playing the Tigers as a member of the Yankees when news leaked that he had been placed on waivers. He was claimed by the Reds during the series and ended leaving Comerica Park to join them.
Votto and Cabrera are both 40 and getting close to the end of their illustrious careers, but Tuesday was only the 12th time they had played against each other.
Because of Cabrera’s time with the Marlins, he was facing the Reds for the 40th time, while Votto has only played 19 games against Detroit.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-7, 3.18) was set to start for Detroit on Wednesday against RHP Connor Phillips (0-0, 9.64).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb