While yesterday was apparently opposites day, today’s game went much the way one would expect it to with these two teams facing off. The Diamondbacks, still trying to keep pace with the Dodgers and to stave off the Padres sent Zac Gallen to the mound. The Tigers responded by having Daniel Norris start.
The first inning alone helped to wash away the sting of the previous night’s game. Yes, the Tigers got a lead-off hit. However, Gallen stranded that runner with no difficulty. On the other side of things, the Diamondbacks got a lead-off walk out of Starling Marte on a full count. This was followed by an 11-pitch at-bat by Peralta. Yes, the at-bat ended in Peralta popping out to third, but at least Norris was forced to work. Ketel Marte followed with a nine-pitch at-bat of his own during which Starling Marte stole second base. It only took three pitches for Carson Kelly to line out to Jeimer Candelario at third to end the inning. Still, the Diamondbacks made Norris throw 28 pitches in the first inning alone. By comparison, Manning was able to complete 3 1⁄3 innings with the same number of pitches the previous night.
The Tigers jumped out in front in the second inning. The switch-hitting Candelario chipped a one-out single and was then brought home one batter later when Niko Goodrum tripled. Austin Romine then flew out to center field, deep enough to score Goodrum from third without a throw. That brought an end to Detroit’s scoring for the rest of the game. In fact, it almost brought an end to their total offense. Over the next 5 1⁄3 innings of work, Gallen allowed only one more base runner, courtesy of a groundball single into the hole at shortstop by Jonathan Schoop in the fourth inning.
Arizona got its scoring started in the third inning. Nick Ahmed started things off with a solo home run to left. After Norris retired Zac Gallen, Starling Marte drew his second walk of the game. He then advanced to second on a bad pickoff throw by Norris. Keeping the pressure on, when Norris finally made his first pitch of the at-bat to Peralta, Marte stole third. Peralta lifted a 2-0 pitch into center. Marte chose not to test the arm of Victor Reyes, though it looked like the flyball should have been deep enough to get the job done. It didn’t matter. Ketel Marte cleaned things up with a two-run homer of his own, this one a 438-foot blast into left center.
The Diamondbacks scored again in the fourth inning, thanks to a lead-off home run by Josh Rojas. With two outs in the inning, Nick Ahmed lined a double off the wall in left, but the Diamondbacks were unable to bring him home.
In the seventh inning, Nick Ahmed started things off with a walk. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs in the inning, Peralta topped a ball towards second. The high bounce that died where it landed allowed Peralta to reach safely on an infield hit which moved Ahmed to third. Ketel Marte followed this up with a double. With two outs in the inning, Peralta was running hard on contact. This allowed him to score rather easily, all the way from first.
Andrew Chafin and Junior Guerra combined to allow only one hit while striking out three over the final two innings of the game.
Final Score: DET 2 - AZ 7
Player of the game honors went to Nick Ahmed. On the day, Ahmed was 3-for-3 with a walk, a home run, and 2 RBI, this in addition to playing more solid defense up the middle. Honorable mentions go out to both Zac Gallen and Ketel Marte, who also had spectacular games which, under most circumstances, would easily have qualified for the honor. Josh Rojas “quietly” had a good day with a walk, a double, and a home run.
The rubber game of the series is tomorrow. Tarik Skubal will go up against Luke Weaver.