Tigers grab 21st victory with walk-off walk

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The Tigers rallied from a 6-1 fifth-inning deficit on Saturday night to capture a 7-6 extra-innings victory from the Red Sox.  It was all capped off by fill-in second baseman Ramon Santiago, who drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 12th inning off Boston reliever Ramon Ramirez.  In all the excitement, Santiago almost forgot to trot down the line and touch first base:

“In all of my career, I’ve never been a part of anything like that, but
the guys were all telling me to go,” Santiago said. “It’s one of those
things you learn, I guess.”

The Red Sox threatened with runners in scoring position in both the 10th and 11th innings, but Detroit setup man Joel Zumaya powered his way through both jams.  Magglio Ordonez opened the 12th frame with a single, Brennan Boesch added a single in the next at-bat, and, two batters later, Brandon Inge drew a walk to bring Santiago to the plate.

Boston is now 19-18 on the season, 6.5 games back of the Rays in the American League East.  The Tigers are 21-16 and are keeping pace with the Twins in the American League Central.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.