There was a tremendous pitcher’s duel in Chicago tonight, as the Brewers edged the White Sox 1-0 in 10 innings.
With the Brewers scoring in the top of the 10th, Zack Greinke was able to get the win. He allowed three hits in nine innings of work. Closer John Axford, who has been very shaky, took over from there and pitched a hitless inning for his 13th save.
Chris Sale was just about as good for the White Sox, allowing four hits in eight innings. Addison Reed followed that with a perfect ninth, but Jesse Crain couldn’t keep it going in the 10th and took his first loss of the year after Aramis Ramirez doubled and Rickie Weeks singled in pinch-runner Nyjer Morgan.
Today’s game was the second this season to go scoreless into extra innings. The Giants beat the Phillies 1-0 in 11 innings on April 18. Matt Cain went nine scoreless and Cliff Lee went 10 scoreless in that one, with Clay Hensley eventually getting the win.
After 16 years in the majors, longtime Tigers DH Victor Martinez capped his career with one final start at Comerica Park. Although there are seven games remaining in the club’s regular season schedule, Martinez said he felt he owed it to the fans to record his final at-bat at home. He’ll still cheer the rest of the team on from the dugout when they hit the road for their last six-game stretch on Monday, though he’s not expected to slot into the lineup at any point during their back-to-back away series against the Twins and Brewers.
In order to commemorate the occasion, the Tigers arranged a pregame ceremony to celebrate the veteran infielder’s seven years with the team, during which they presented him with Topps baseball cards, a recliner, a pair of boots, and a saddle, among other honors. Martinez also put in a special request to play first base, a position he hadn’t manned in over two years.
The 39-year-old didn’t waste a single minute of his final start in the majors. He deftly handled an inning-ending out in the top of the first, then laced a rare infield single to short in his first and final at-bat of the afternoon, beating the throw to first and advancing Nicholas Castellanos to second base in order to set up the Tigers’ first run: a two-out RBI single from Niko Goodrum that brought Castellanos home to score.
“I think that at-bat was the perfect at-bat to describe my career,” Martinez told reporters after the Tigers wrapped a 5-4 win over the Royals. “I had to sweat it out. I had to sweat it out the whole way. I had to grind it. That was my whole career.”
Following the hit — and the standing ovation that greeted it — the switch-hitter was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez, who subbed in at second base in the top of the second while Goodrum shifted from second to first base. Taking Saturday’s performance into account, Martinez polished off his big league career with a lifetime .295/.360/.455 batting line, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI, and 28.4 fWAR across 1,973 games and three separate stints for the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers. His accomplishments at the plate have been decorated with five All-Star nominations, two Silver Slugger Awards, and the designated hitter-exclusive Edgar Martinez Award following a career-best campaign in 2014.