Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill is back from the disabled list after missing more than two months with a fractured hand that was initially expected to keep him out for 4-6 weeks.
Hill actually suffered the injury a week before being placed on the DL, as the Diamondbacks hadn’t determined that it was a fracture and allowed him to play through it. Now healthy, Hill went 9-for-24 (.375) in six games rehabbing at Triple-A.
In his absence the Diamondbacks used four different starters at second base, with Cliff Pennington and Willie Bloomquist basically splitting time there recently. Overall this season Arizona second basemen have hit .273 with a .704 OPS, which while decent is quite a dropoff from Hill hitting .304 with an .885 OPS since joining the Diamondbacks in mid-2011.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.